It was Brading Downs first. Being September I wasn't expecting much of a floral display although, as a habitat, chalk downs can be very fine. We approached the downs via a stretch of arable land, currently carrying a crop of oilseed rape - right across the footpath. Around the field margins were patches of flax, suggesting that these lovely blue-flowered plants had formed the previous crop, generally grown nowadays for linseed oil rather than the fibre. However, of more interest to me were other species which may have been present as crop impurities or as spillage from nearby pheasant pens.
As well as alien grasses - I counted at least four - there were many plants of Common Pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus. Amaranth plants, including this species, are cultivated as a leafy vegetable in some parts of the world, when it is called Callaloo (Ref 1). It is a native of temperate and tropical America but may persist in milder plants of Britain. I could have spent several hours in this field but we needed to move on.
Common Pigweed is related to Amaranthus caudatus, aka
Love-lies-bleeding. Arable field near Brading, Isle of Wight.
13 September, 2017
The honey-fragrant Crosswort. Near Brading, Isle of Wight.
6 September, 2017