Friday, 27 June 2014

Grasslands

Grasslands come in all shapes and sizes. From the large expanses of grassy meadows to our own domestic lawns. Looking around the back garden and ferreting about in the lawn, can be quite rewarding if you do not spread the grass with weedkillers and insecticides.  Our lawn is dotted with Daisies and the odd buttercup and in the wetter parts, liverworts cover the bare ground where the grass has given up the struggle. Recently however, I have spotted a few patches of a small blue flower, Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris).
When we see these little plants growing around the countryside - where they are not mown flat at regular intervals - they reach up to a foot tall, but in our lawn, they barely make it to an inch.
Another tiny plant which is often found in our domestic lawns, belongs to the cabbage family.  This little white flower belongs to the Wavy Bitter-cress (Cardamine flexuosa).
Wavy Bitter-cress has a very close cousin, the Hairy Bitter-cress (Cardamine hirsuta) which is almost identical. Close inspection is needed to separate them from each other and a very close look at the photo above, reveals the flowers to have six, pale stamens, identifying it as 'Wavy', as the 'Hairy' cousin has only four stamens.
Of course, the larger, open meadows of Shipley Park are filled with a plethora of wild flowers which leave our back garden lawn to shame, so it's good to have a couple more pictures of these gorgeous grasslands which include the wonderful Common Spotted Orchids...
... And a tall, slender, yellow-flowered plant called Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria), as well as the blurry image of Malcolm in the background..!
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