Friday, September 20, 2013

Mainly Colchicums

... which tend to get called Autumn Crocuses but aren't. (Certainly not crocuses - wrong number of anthers for that and often a bit early for real autumn when the leaves turn.)
Colchicum autumnale, Meadow Saffron at Henallt Common

But the display last week at Henallt Common was magnificent - thanks in great part to the effective Bracken control recently from the Brecon Beacons Park Authority. I've said before this is one of Brecnockshire's "hidden botanical gems" and it was sufficient lure to get the Herefordshire Botanical Society across the border to see its delights on Thursday.
Lunch at Henallt among the Colchicums

I joined the walk in blustery rain but we kept faith with the forecast and ended up having lunch at Henallt in the dry and walked back to the cars in sun. At the Blysmus compressus site at Henallt Common, Jean Wynne-Jones, the Society Chair spotted a Charophyte which I brought home, photographed and identified as Chara vulgaris var vulgaris but that is a pending identification which I will endeavour to get confirmed. As the BSBI handbook says, "The gametangia of the Characeae are quite unlike the reproductive organs of other plants." In the picture the yellow rugby ball is the oogonium - the female organ, the orange, smaller ball, the male bit (I think !).
 Chara vulgaris [now confirmed by Nick Stewart] (the squares in the background are 1mm)

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