Frog Rush sequel - Where from?
While looking for something else I found an article by M Wilcox in BSBI News 128 p 25 which puts flesh on one tentative answer to the question arising from my news item of a few weeks ago, i.e., where did the seed come from? It seems pretty obvious that the seed came in on salty water from car tyres but may also have arrived with the gravel used to surface the drive.
Mr Wilcox found Frog Rush on the verges of roads in 31 monads around Dent and Ribblesdale and in VC62 near Goathland. Local searches where we know Spergularia marina and Puccinellia distans to grow may be fruitful.
Peter J Cook, 21 June 2017
How many fingers?
Yellow may normally be considered the colour of Spring but for the urban botanist it is certainly white. The pavement cracks and corners are now full of small white-flowered plants which can look remarkably similar from a distance - Bittercresses, Thale Cress, Whitlowgrass, Scurvygrass, Shepherd's-purse, etc. Yesterday morning I encountered a dense patch of such plants on the corner of Charlotte Street and Grimston Street, Hull. Very closely crowded and low-growing I did not recognise them immediately so took a small specimen in the hope of Cerastium semidecandrum. Careful examination at home revealed fleshy spathulate leaves,a dense covering of red-tipped hairs and short blunt sepals - Saxifraga tridactylites. (picture - mm scale)
Ironically, just before encountering the plants I been looking at a fine display of typical Rue-leaved Saxifrage only 100 metres away - the plants discovered last year by Gabrielle! The confusion arose as none of the plants in this new colony bore the "typical" (but clearly not obligatory) three fingered leaves.
Richard Middleton, 4 April 2017
John Killingbeck and Gabrielle Jarvis have made an interesting discovery in Hornsea this month - Cyrtomium falcatum (House Holly-fern) growing with Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart's-tongue) on a shady wall. It would be very easy to overlook this alien fern which is a relatively recent addition to our vice-county's flora.
Richard Middleton, 14 March 2017