Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Blooming Glorious

More flowers this morning on our walk around Shipley Park.  Setting out across the old theme park car parks, we were struck by the wonderful sight of hundreds of Common Spotted Orchids.  Some of these had the most striking patterns on the petals, including this one...
In the past, these areas were just dry grassland, but since the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust took over the maintenance of what is now the Woodside Nature Reserve, orchids have sprung up all over the place.
Alongside the wild flowers, many of the ornamental shrubs which once adorned the car parks, are still present and still blooming beautifully. Here, a large leaved Cotoneaster is in full flower and proving to be very popular with the bees.
Further on, an Escalonia was doing the same thing...
Back to the Wild flowers and one which I had heard was to be found in this area, but which I had hitherto not found.  Yellow-wort (Blackstonia perfoliata) is an attractive little flower, with grey-green leaves and the brightest yellow flowers you are ever likely to find - and here it was, flowering among the grasses and Bee Orchids.
A specialist in dry conditions, Yellow-wort is a member of the Gentian family.  It has waxy, grey-green leaves which help it to retain moisture in arid areas such as these old car parks.  Another 'tick' for the life list, which seems to be doing rather well this year!
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