Saturday, August 06, 2016

Plantains and Mallow - and more

I start with the Plantago coronopus that recently found its way into the county. These pictures are taken of my plant which I grew on from a small identification sample. It's fascinating to see how Plantains (at least this one) behave.

The flowers are not, as we all know, very showy most of the time - apart from when you happen upon Common Plantains that have anthers deployed.

My Buck's-horn in captivity suddenly put out these long styles a fortnight ago - ready to receive pollen.
Buck's-horn Plantain, Llyriad corn carw or Plantago coronopus

Then almost exactly a week later the anthers appeared. This will be a mechanism to encourage cross-pollination - the styles have a whole week to receive pollen from other plants that might be a little ahead.

I went back to a previously botanised area near Tretower to check on some plants I wasn't quite sure of the exact identification of in May and also found several we hadn't seen then like this Figwort:
Water Figwort, Gwrnerth y dŵr or Scrophularia auriculata

There was as great show of Marsh Woundwort in the area near the watercourses as well - we had seen leaves in May we thought were Stachys but hadn't been sure which one. In the event both this and Hedge Woundwort were evident in the area.
Marsh Woundwort, Briwlys y gors or Stachys palustris

And I called in to photograph a plant first found by my colleague, Mike, several year's ago - still there by Cwmdu wall and we don't have many records for it.
Dwarf Mallow, Corhocysen or Malva neglecta
Maybe there is a clue in the Latin name - "neglecta" certainly suggests a plant that gets overlooked.

And finally to Allt Rhongyr for some recording in the vicinity and then to help with a survey to assess the condition of the reserve helped by volunteers. We did one transect and recorded the species present in two fixed quadrats. My impression was that the reserve is coming on nicely and we certainly found plenty of good indicator species in the transect quadrats and few of the more negative ones.
Working on a fixed quadrat on the limestone.

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