Uncharismatic microflora

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 27 March 2011 14:02

Yesterday on the way back from a farm survey in Hampshire and before I discovered the Light Orange Underwings at The Mens, I went on a slight detour to West Heath to look for Lesser Chickweed. I found it easy enough but boy is that plant dull! Like a small chickweed without petals. It was however a tick for me and is a species I have often wondered whether or not I have overlooked it in the past. Also present on the sandy soils where it was growing were the tiny Little Mouse-ear (top photo) and lots of Common Whitlow-grass (actually a crucifer). These 'little white jobs' are the botanical equivalent of birding's LBJs. They do have their own charm though, even if I have to gamble with my bad back to see them. I have taken to crawling around on my hands and knees rather than bending over to prevent a flare up! So far, no problems with my disk since the end of 2010.

3 Response to "Uncharismatic microflora"

Sarah P Says:

Eeeee - I love the spring ephemerals!

Andy Horton Says:

Hello Graeme,

How do you know these are Hairy Violets? I get them mixed up with Sweet Violets.

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Graeme Lyons Says:

It's a jizz thing really, the flowers are usally darker (or paler)than Hairy. Different leaf shape too. Hairy usually dominate on the open chalk, Sweet around the edge of scrub, areas where scrub has been cleared etc. There are certainly plenty of both species at Mill Hill but I was focusing my attention on the open chalk, hence where the Hairy Violets dominated.

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