A First Hunt 2007


Erigeron kravinskianus

Mexican Fleabane
Erigeron karvinskianus
7th March 2007

Campanula portenschlagiana

Adria Bellflower
Campanula portenschlagiana
7th March 2007

Erophila verna

Common Whitlowgrass
Erophila verna
7th March 2007

Goats

Goats
Goatius scrufficoatiodes
7th March 2007

Vinca major

Greater Periwinkle
Vinca major
7th March 2007

Primula vulgaris

Primrose
Primula vulgaris
7th March 2007

Ranunculus ficaria

Lesser Celandine
Ranunculus ficaria
7th March 2007

Myosotis sp

Garden Forget-me-not
Myosotis sp
7th March 2007

Taraxacum officinale

Dandelion
Taraxacum officinale
7th March 2007

Tussilago farfara

Coltsfoot
Tussilago farfara
7th March 2007

The Great Orme 7th March 2007

Now to two plants in almost identical habitats one of which I count as wild and one of which I don't. Mexican Fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus) is found in wild places on the Great Orme well away from gardens and so this one, being half way up a 15 foot wall, where no-one could or would have tried to plant it, I count as wild. On the other hand Adria Bellflower (Campanula portenschlagiana) can quite frequently be found populating walls on the pavement side of gardens where it originally grew and so as this was exactly the case here, I didn't count this as "wild enough". There is a case for saying that any plant in a cliff or wall has to have been sown naturally (Have you ever tried planting things in cracks in walls??) and so you could count it as wild but to me anyway it does need to be a bit further from habitation than the other side of a garden wall.

Finally a small patch of white crucifers no more than a few centimetres high grew next to the pavement. Crucifers generally are not easy to identify but this early, and this small with this shape of seed pod emerging from the flower it was an Erophila. There are three species of Erophila determined by their relative hairiness but this was was intermediate so I assumed it to be the Common Whitlowgrass (Erophila verna).

No trip to the Great Orme is complete without a glimpse of the herd(s) of wild goats which have multiplied to the point of being quite nuisance to residents in these parts ( (they get into gardens and eat the plants). They usually seem photophobic and dart off quickly if you take a camera out but today they were a bit more curious.

Llandudno Junction 7th March 2007

A patch of waste land on an industrial estate near Llandudno has been known for some years to contain some interesting escapes and aliens including Narrow-leaved Ragwort (Senecio inaequidens) a plant which seems to be spreading fast throughout the UK.

As it was on the way home I took a slight diversion to see what was in flower. Plenty of the Narrow-leaved ragwort (Senecio inaequidens) had survived the winter but there were no flowers. However as often happens when you investigate a new site, several other species were in flower. The Great Periwinkle (Vinca major) is now often to be found a good way from the gardens where it originated and this one was healthy and spreading. Nearby a patch of a six Primroses (Primula vulgaris) were flowering and some quite tall and healthy Lesser Celandines (Ranunculus ficaria) suggested that these might be ssp bulbifer but it was too early to look for bulbils. Nearby on the same patch of land some Forget-me-nots were in flower. These were naturalised but almost definitely thrown out onto the land either as dead flower heads which have seeded or as live plants. You just can't tell because this is another tough coloniser of waste places. I count this but wouldn't be surprised if others didn't. The habitat was OK but the origin was uncertain.

The last two plants are understandably confused by the many even but a closer look reveals the differences. Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) can usually be found in flower in the winter months even though they often look very sorry for themselves. They have a flower stem arising from a rosette of toothed leaves.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farafara) on the other hand, although it is the same shade of yellow has a smaller flower, a stem with scales and has no leaves at this time of year. They grow later after the flowers have finished.