Tuesday, 14 May 2013

New to the Pocket Park

I keep an eye on the flowers of Byfield Pocket Park, looking out for features of interest such as galls or insect visitors but also in the hope that new species may be found. Since last July the number of species recorded has stood at 123, so to add two species in a day is a surprise. 

To be honest the first of these additions wasn't really a surprise since I put the plants in myself. The species in question is Ramsons, Allium ursinum. This member of the onion genus is an important component of a few woodlands in Northamptonshire, often indicating that the woods are quite ancient. I have a patch in my garden so decided to introduce them. However, since planting the bulbs I had seen nothing and had more or less written them off, but today I saw about ten plants in flower.
Ramsons, Titchmarsh Wood
 Northants 17 May, 2013

Yellow Rocket, Barbarea vulgaris.
Byfield Pocket Park 14 May, 2013

The second new species wasn't really a surprise either. Where the ground has been disturbed by our working party in clearing brambles, nettles and thistles a plant of Yellow Rocket, Barbarea vulgaris, has appeared. Also known as Winter Cress, this is a common plant in such situations. It is abundant over much of Northamptonshire although in this far west part of the county records are relatively few.

The disturbed ground in question is well worth monitoring as several of these so-called casuals may appear.

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