Sunday 10 May 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 20 - Blue 4 - Speedwells

Twitter #WildflowerHour set the challenge to look for Speedwells this week. I have already found five and a search brought the total to eight - (one in bud)

I have already recorded and shown
1. Slender speedwell
2. Ivy-leaved speedwell
3. Wall speedwell
4. Thyme-leaved speedwell
5. Field speedwell - Admittedly I wasn't sure which - I planned to check the fruit on Sunday - but most likely V. persica Common Field Speedwell. ) 
I did check on Sunday and found they had weeded my photographed plant out! Completely
But see below I found a splendid specimen nearer home.

The only speedwell of conservation interest around here at this time of year is Wood Speedwell, Veronica montana as it is a possible indicator of old woodland - 
So I was delighted on Wednesday when I found it growing in quantity along Watery Lane at Settle.

1. Wood Speedwell
Wood Speedwell. This has the flowers arranged in groups like Germander (AKA Bird's-eye) Speedwell, but there are hairs all round the plant stem, not just in two rows as in Germander Speedwell. The flowers are a paler colour blue than Germander Speedwell

Wood Speedwell

2. Brooklime - Veronica becca bunga

I found a little Veronica becca bunga too in a ditch at the side of the lane but it was not flowering.  The track was very dry.

3. Common Field Speedwell - Veronica persica

On Saturday morning (9 May) the sun tempted me out to walk up the road from my house and in 1/4 mile away beside a row of houses I found ALL the above  first five species. with  V persica with its fruit well developed.

Common Field Speedwell

Fruit of Veronica persica, Common Field Speedwell- the two lobes are at an angle slightly larger than 90 degrees to each other


4.  Germander Speedwell , aka Bird's-eye Speedwell

"Germander speedwell should be around somewhere"

Young Germander Speedwell plants growing in the very dry pasture beside Langcliffe Quarry
Germander Speedwell sent in by member of Craven Conservation Group

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