Stitched up like a mouse-ear

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Thursday 17 May 2012 15:28

Field Mouse-ear has been my 'bogey plant' for some time and I finally caught up with it yesterday on a road verge at Beachy Head. Ticked from the car! It's quite a striking plant but doesn't half look like Greater Stitchwort. The key differences are the quite different habitats but also the growth form, the mouse-ear forming quite dense patches of flowers. As soon as you start looking closely at individual flowers, they do start to look quite similar.
And below is a Greater Sticthwort flower for comparison. I wonder how many times I have walked passed Field Mouse-ear thinking it were Greater Stitchwort?
I tried to look for Small Hare's-ear again on the cliff tops but it was to no avail, I think I was too early again. The Peregrines were entertaining though and I did find a nationally scarce weevil (and a new species for me) on Wild Mignonette. It was a metallic blue thing called Aulacobaris picicornis. I think my biggest bogey of all has to be either Otter or the Lappet. Maybe this year hey?

3 Response to "Stitched up like a mouse-ear"

kirstallcreatures Says:

They're really similar, I would have assumed they're the same plant, but now I know different.

S.Wynne Says:

an easy way of telling the difference is to push the pointed end of the leaf onto the soft pad of your finger -tip. Greater stitchwort has tougher leaves than mouse-ear and will press in to your finger
'stitch, sew, pin in the finger!'

Dee Sewell Says:

What a beautiful display! and yes, the really are very similar.

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