Saturday, January 2, 2016
New Year Plant Hunt in and around Durham city today
A second day of New Year Plant Hunting, this time along the banks of the river Wear and along woodland edges and hedges. Nineteen species in flower this time, of which these are some of the most pleasing:
Nipplewort Lapsana communis
Lesser celandine, flower petals eaten by a slug but very attractive variegated foliage.
...... and cowslip, flowering four months early.
The cowslip was on the Durham University estate, on the Mountjoy site, about 400 metres from an area that was seeded with wild cowslips about 20 years ago. Since then they save seeded themselves on various places, most likely with seed carried on feet of staff and students. This single flowering plant was amongst a population of over 50 non-bloomers, all with very vigorous new leaf growth, on a very sheltered grassy bank under an alder.