Saturday, 7 July 2012

July Flowers

Tufted vetch Vicia cracca
Tufted vetch  can be seen from the Portsmouth Road as it begins to cling and climb over adjacent vegetation using the tendrils on the ends of it's leaves. This plant was not recorded in the 2011 botanical surveys of the FB's. It is recorded at our flagship grassland site in the borough,-Tolworth Court Farm TCF,  as well as Hogsmill O.S. and Dinton's Fields.
Wall pepper/biting stonecrop Sedum acre


This stonecrop grows along the walls and slope from the wharf down to the FB's, where there are large yellow stands of flowers.  It's frequency was described as 'rare' in the botanical surveys, 2011 but this year it is evident throughout, perhaps due to the influence of the weather. Often used on green roofs. Whilst not rare, there are only 3 sites now remaining in the borough where this plant is recorded including the cemetery and Ravens Ait.
Everlasting pea Lathyrus latifolius



Broad leaved everlasting pea gives a colourful show at this time of year. Will grow anywhere on open ground and is often found on the soft estate of motorways or rail-side land. It is found along the Hogsmill river corridor and adjacent sites such as Hogsmill S.W.
St. Johns Wort Hypericum perforatum


The frequency of St. John's Wort  was described as rare on the DAFOR scale in the botanical surveys, 2011 it is now frequently encountered due to the amount of rain, which has influenced the vegetation. It is found at grassland sites such as TCF, the Pipe Track in New Malden, and Chessington.
Wild carrot Daucus carota


Wild carrot is later flowering umbellifer and a favourite with flower beetles some of which were seen on the 'umbels'. It is also called Queen Anne's Lace on account of one tiny purplish floret in the centre, which is the queen. The white florets make up her lace collar. It grows at Tolworth Court Farm.
 
Ladies Bedstraw G. verum Restharrow O. repens





Ladies bedstraw grows throughout the FB's but in the centre of the  picture below is one of the boroughs rarities, restharrow. A low growing perennial of rough grassland and one of the chalk species. It's leaves are greasy and smell of petroleum jelly. The name 'restharrow' comes from the long thick rhizomes, which were tough enough to stop a horse drawn harrow in its tracks. They were sometimes dug up and chewed like liquorice. There are no records of this species elsewhere in the borough and it is a rare plant in the London region. If you can get a better picture I will post it. It is opposite 66 Portsmouth Road but you will need binoculars to pinpoint it due to the overgrowth of surrounding plants.

2 comments:

  1. Wild Carrot..my fav. You can also find all these beautiful flowers on Ham Lands. The St John's Wort is constantly covered in bees.

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  2. Indeed, Ham Lands is one of the best sites in London for plants particularly those associated with chalk substrates....

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