Saturday, 7 May 2016

Tough Stuff

Cones of Common Horsetail, Equisetum arvense.   Hayes station car park, 24 April 2016.
Cones of Common Horsetail, Equisetum arvense.   Hayes station car park, 24 April 2016.
It's pretty tough stuff, though it doesn't look it.  This Common Horsetail shoves its cones up through asphalt as though it isn't there.

Accompanying it up against the bricks is one of these:

Bristly Oxtongue, Helminthotheca echioides.  Leaf rosette.  Hayes, 24 April 2016.
Bristly Oxtongue, Helminthotheca echioides.  Leaf rosette.  Hayes, 24 April 2016.
a Bristly Oxtongue, recognisable even as a small rosette by the pustular appearance of its leaves.  This slightly larger specimen is a few feet away.  It will put up a tall flower spike later (or try to; once it becomes really noticeable it might suffer.)

Herb Robert, Geranium robertianum.  Hayes station car park, 24 April 2016.
Herb Robert, Geranium robertianum.  Hayes station car park, 24 April 2016.
I think Herb Robert is the prettiest of our local wild Geraniums, and it's probably the commonest, occurring in woods and other wild places as well as in car parks like this one.

Pellitory-of-the-Wall, Parietaria judaica.  Hayes, 24 April 2016.
Pellitory-of-the-Wall, Parietaria judaica.  Hayes, 24 April 2016.
This is Pellitory-of-the-Wall, and indeed it grows out of cracks in several of the local walls.  Here, it has found a crevice at the edge of a path.

Dandelion plus. Saville Row, Hayes, 6 May 2016.
Dandelion plus. Saville Row, Hayes, 6 May 2016.
I can't really ignore this pretty plant.  Even though it's so dry here that it can only afford to support five small leaves, this Dandelion is putting out two full-sized flowers.  With it are a grass, which I might identify when it flowers, and a Bitter-cress which is so dry and stressed that it has mostly turned purple.  These are actually on my front door steps.  Botany is literally on my doorstep. 

There are many other plants that are tough enough to survive in suburbia.  I had to go hardly any distance to find the groups in this and the last two posts.  There are other communities that grow on walls in particular, in grass verges, on the dry ground in a local farm, and in the local woods.  The variety is very cheering, and I hope the weedkiller sprayers never get more thorough than they already are. 

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