Saturday, 16 May 2015

More Late Spring Flowers

Common Bird's-foot Trefoil, Lotus corniculatus.  Hayes Churchyard.  4 May 2015.
Common Bird's-foot Trefoil, Lotus corniculatus.  Hayes Churchyard.  4 May 2015.
 Some more of what's flowering all around.  This Bird's-foot Trefoil even grows in lawns, as long as the owner doesn't use a selective weedkiller.  It's the seed pods that resemble a bird's foot; not visible yet.

Three-cornered Leek, Allium triquetrum.  Roundabout Wood, 8 May 2015.
Three-cornered Leek, Allium triquetrum.  Roundabout Wood, 8 May 2015.
This Three-cornered Leek (or sometimes Garlic) has a strong oniony smell and is quite edible.  It turns up in many local woods and although it is decorative, it's an invasive pest, so why not eat it to death?  Well, local woods are usually well used by dog walkers, so some caution and a thorough washing would be advisable.

Danish Scurvygrass, Cochlearia danica.  Verge of Heathfield Road, Keston.    4 May 2015.
Danish Scurvygrass, Cochlearia danica.  Verge of Heathfield Road, Keston.    4 May 2015.
Many roads are lined by this small white flower, Danish Scurvygrass.  It spreads along the very edges of the grass verges because it is tolerant of salt and its seeds are spread by traffic, which taken together are making it very successful.  Without the roads it would just live at the coast.  It contains vitamin C and (it is said) used to be eaten by sailors to prevent scurvy.

Sheep's Sorrel, Rumex acetosella.  Keston Common, car park and grass nearby.  4 May 2015.
Sheep's Sorrel, Rumex acetosella.  Keston Common, car park and grass nearby.  4 May 2015.
This humble plant gives a reddish tint to areas of acidic grassland.  Those lovely leaves are described as "hastate."  That ought to mean "like a spear" but in botany, it means having the shape of a halberd.  But if you look up halberds, you will be hard pushed to find one of this shape.  So, that name for the shape is not entirely helpful.

Common Vetch, Vicia sativa.  Keston Common, grass near car park.  4 May 2015.
Common Vetch, Vicia sativa.  Keston Common, grass near car park.  4 May 2015.
This is one of several vetch species in this area, and so far this year, the only one I have seen in flower. 

The last one today, Wood Speedwell, is similar to the Germander Speedwell shown in the previous post.  The differences are, this one has evenly hairy stems, leaves with stalks, and flowers which are more mauve than blue.  But they are close enough in appearance that many people confuse them, especially when not in flower.

Wood Speedwell, Veronica montata.  Roundabout Wood, 8 May 2015.
Wood Speedwell, Veronica montata.  Roundabout Wood, 8 May 2015.
Despite the Latin name montana, it does grow in the woods.

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