Saturday, 24 May 2014

Thrifty

Among the most common and the most beautiful wild flowers to be seen around Newquay, has to be the Sea Thrift (Armeria maritima). A compact perennial, it has thin, needle-like leaves which form neat mounds on the cliff tops.
Thrift is an iconic plant of dry, sandy, rocky and seemingly inhospitable places, especially around the British coast where it can be found clinging to the most unlikely rocks and covering itself with a blanket of pink flowers.
The name 'Thrift' is supposed to come from the plant's ability to hold on to water collected among its dense mat of leaves. Growing alongside the thrift, were the pale yellow flowers of Kidney Vetch and when seen together, against a backdrop of blue sea, they made a splendid show.
Between 1937 and 1952, the British Three penny coin, had a design of Thrift flowers on its 'tails' side - no doubt playing on the thrifty nature of its name.
The local wildlife seemed equally impressed with the pink cushions of the Thrift.  Here, a wind-swept Fulmar, clinging to the edge of a cliff, was taking advantage of the seasonal decor of its surroundings.
Despite the lashing this part of the UK had during the winter storms, these hardy plants have come to no harm, toughing it out and continuing to brighten the cliff tops with their fabulous display of pink. Definitely one of the highlights of our few days in Newquay.
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