Life finds a way

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 14 March 2011 17:33

Have you noticed when you drive around at this time of year a tiny white flower (sometimes with a hint of pink) growing along the roadsides in thick strips? It's Danish Scurvygrass, a plant once restricted to the coasts it is now spreading rapidly inland growing on the exposed earth right on the edge of the road where salt is put down in the winter. I think it's fascinating that you are more likely to see this plant now from the car inland than you are walking on the coast.

I spotted this plant yesterday at Shoreham. The top photo was taken in a traffic jam on the A3 a few weeks back. I wonder if the effects of salt on road verges are accumulative,  perhaps when the salinity reaches a certain point, will other halophytes begin to spread inland? Perhaps we will end up with miles and miles of very narrow and dangerous inland saltmarshes whilst all the coastal ones disappear due to sea level rise. The title of this blog post, for those that didn't know, was stolen from Jurassic Park.

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