Wednesday, 15 July 2009


As summer's about finishing - if you're a bird - or not yet started properly - if you're a bat - or even almost non-existent - if you go by the weather, it's quite nice to fill the gap with some plant-like things. Work takes me out and about frequently at the moment, so here follow some pictures of some floral summeriness taken over the past couple of weeks or so (spot the odd ones out!):

Yellow Horned-poppy Glaucium flavum, Slapton beach.
Taken whilst the mysterious Na swam underneath a second-summer Mediterranean Gull, and totally ignored it (she doesn't take much interest in gulls, even those as patently interesting as Meds).

Viper's Bugloss Echium vulgare. Slapton beach.
Quite a common plant along the shingle ridge at Slapton, and a characteristic summer sight.

Carrot Broomrape Orobanche [?] maritima. Same time, same place.
If you think that the taxonomy of, let's say large white-headed gulls (Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed, Yellow-legged and all the various inbetweeny poxy things) is tricky, try plants... This one's been both species and variety on and off for donkeys years.

Narrow-leaved Everlasting Pea Lathyrus sylvestris. Berry Head.
Looks a bit rude. Bet Linnaeus (Wikipedia link, which unaccountably has no reference to the inordinate number of sexual references in Linnaeus' work) would have had a juicy name for it...

Wild Onion Allium vineale. Berry Head again.
Not very exciting, but boy, does it smell of onions.

Ivy Broomrape (I think) Orobanche hederae. Berry Head once more.
Just the dead stems now, but identifying it on the circumstantial evidence. Broomrapes are parasitic, in case you didn't know, so part of identification could be the species of host plant. Given the difficulties of identifying the plants otherwise, I reckon it's quite helpful. I'm open to correction, though.

Beadlet Anemone Actinia equina. Wembury Point.

Sea Holly Eryngium maritimum. Same place, same day.
Mmmm. Absolutely gorgeous. Not a holly at all, but a member of the carrot family.

Ribbed Melilot Melilotus officinalis (or arvensis). Berry Head again.
A non-native invasive nasty, but rather pretty nonetheless.

Culm grassland. North Devon
A nice bit of Purple Moor-grass Molinia caerulea pasture grading into Angelica Angelica sylvestris-Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria swamp (M25 grading to S27, if you're an adherent of the National Vegetation Classification codes). If you look carefully you can see the yellow splashes of Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil Lotus pedunculatus with which are mingled white splatches of Valerian Valeriana officinalis and the more creamy fluff of Meadowsweet in the distance. Some purplish blotches here and there are Saw-wort Serratula tinctoria and Marsh Thistle Cirsium palustre, rather than the workings of a dodgy sensor or a particularly colourful acid trip.

The mysterious Na and her constant companion Chorthippus ?brunneus at Prawle Point.

Gammon Head, viewed from Elender Cove - nice and breezy.

Possibly Golden Hair Lichen - Teloschistes flavicans - Bolt area.

A rather seaweedy-looking lichen. Bolt Head
No idea what it is, but it's quite smart-looking.

Purple grasshopper Chorthippus ?brunneus. Bolt Head
Also not the product of a diseased imagination; just a rather funky colour-morph. Quite what the advantage may be of being bright purple amidst green grass, I do not know.

And finally, answers on a postcard. First correct identification wins, as Mark would have it, the satisfaction of being right...!


Mark said...

cetti? just a wild stab in the dark....

jb77 said...

Call yerself a smuggie, and have done. Nice tern pics, by the way. Oh, and can you come to our wedding party? Your invite's in your yahoo email...