Monday, 2 August 2010

Flora

A fine day for a walk again today, so Malcolm and I set off on a short, but circuitous route around the ponds of Straw's Bridge, across the Pewit Carr local nature reserve before returning, back across the fields.
We found another new flower for me to add to my life list too. The Common Hemp-nettle (Galeopsis tetrahit). A rather beautiful little flower, held on very hairy stems and nettle-like leaves.
The Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is in full bloom and it's sweet fragrance fills the air around the wet meadows of Pewit Carr. The Common Reeds (Phragmites communis), are beginning to take over the pond in the background and the clear water surface is diminishing as a result.
Along the pathways, there are a number of tall, yellow-flowered plants called Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). This plant has the alternative name of 'Bitter Buttons' and it's easy to see where the name comes from when you see the flowers close up.
Lastly for today, another common plant around these parts, but one of the most beautiful. The Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris), surely has one of the prettiest flowers af all native British species. Related to the garden favourite, 'Snapdragons', you can see a distinct resemblance in the flowers. It is also a very important plant for many species of moth as it forms a good part of the diet of many different caterpillars including several Fritillaries, Rustics, Pug moths and the Silver 'Y'.
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