Ragwort is extraordinarily successful; all the “injurious weeds” named in the 1959 Weed Act are.Continue reading “Ragwort”
By Ian Bushell
Southwick Country Park has a number of veteran oaks and ten ancient oaks. There are no hard and fast rules about when and why an oak tree becomes classified as veteran or ancient; in different environments and soils oaks grow at different rates and girth is only an indicator. Here the underlying Oxford clay provides an excellent medium and the trees are large and shapely.Continue reading “The Park’s Veteran Oaks”
This is ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), a little blue flower so common as to be almost invisible. It grows all over the park and flowers at any time of the year.Continue reading “A closer look at weeds – part 2”
A picture of Cardamine pratensis sent by Ian Bushell with this message:
” . . .Milkmaid flowering on the Lambrok bank very near the boggy area. ”
Does anybody else call it milkmaid? I call it lady’s smock; is it another of those plants with many different names, like ragwort?
Tell us in the comments below if you have a different name for it.
Cardamine pratensis conservation status UK: Common and widespread
Photographed by DKG
Snake’s head fritillaries are classified as Vulnerable on the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain.
The park, at this time of year, is full of pollinators carrying pollen from tree to tree in a kind of reproductive frenzy.Continue reading “Arboreal sex”
More pictures of the park in bloom; these are from C.J.Seymour.
The park’s hedges have burst into blossom and the park is looking wonderful. The show will only last a few days; come and see before it vanishes.continue for More pictures
Red dead Nettle
This is a red dead nettle (Lamium purpureum), the commonest of weeds. It flowers for most of the year in untidy vegetable plots, roadside verges and, in this case, country park car parks. Nobody gives it a second glance but its flowers, hidden among its topmost purple leaves, are extraordinarily beautiful.
Yesterday was the vernal equinox so today is the first day of 2019 that is longer than the previous night. The days will get longer and the nights shorter until the summer solstice: June 21st or thereabouts. For the park this is a time of extraordinary growth.Continue reading
Hazel has both male and female flowers. The familiar yellow catkins are made up of about 250 male flowers. They produce the pollen; if you tap a ripe hazel catkin it will release a cloud of pollen. The female flower is a minutely small red tassel, somewhere on the same twig as the catkins.Continue reading “Hazel’s female flowers”
Have you ever tried to photograph lesser celandine or buttercup flowers on a sunny day? The petals are so shiny, like little cups of mirrors, that the reflected sunlight flares and obscures the details of the flower; if you are trying to photograph a celandine in close up, you have to do it in the shade.Continue reading
Spring is on the way