Saturday 31 October 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 93 - Yellow 23 - Gorse

A Photo from  31 October - at Helwith Bridge, at the path between the Moss and the Quarry

Gorse - Ulex europaeus.

As they say "When the gorse is not in bloom, kissing is not in season"..  and the two gorse bushes there are still in bloom.
See mandyhaggith for lots about gorse

European Gorse with Penyghent in the background

European Gorse with Penyghent in the background

European Gorse 

I  did perhaps cheat by driving the 3 miles from my house to Helwith Bridge Moss (Swarthmoor Moss) (Though I did the walk earlier in the year on 10 April on a lichen walk). 
I thus had more time to look at the fungi -waxcaps- and lichens on the path by the quarry.

On the path I found other (previously recorded) yellow flowers in bloom: Mouse Ear-Hawkweed, Lesser Trefoil, Ragwort, Dandelion, Sow-thistle. 

Even on this cold windy moist evening - well 4-5pm counts as evening I found three plants I have not described in this blog before:

Fairy Flax Linum catharticum in the thin soil beside the quarry road, (I have seen lots of it before)

Reed-mace - Typha latifolia

New Zealand Willowherb -  Epilobium  brunnescens in fruit

Today was 31 Oct. They were having Pumpkin Activities in Miss Victoria's pleasure Garden next to the Victoria Hall.

Sunday 18 October 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 92 - Green 9 - Ivy, Procumbent Pearlwort at St John's Church & Annual Pearlwort at the Fire Station

St John's church is surrounded by tarmac except for a few yards of gravel and a few metres of hedge and a tiny flower bed.

Yet an examination of the surrounds, with the help of a hand lens revealed nine species of wild plant still in flower on 17 Oct and a further vistit on 18 Oct brought the total to 12 species. I list them at the end. Two of these were new green plants:

1. Ivy (Hedera helix) in full flower and 2 Procumbent Pearlwort Sagina procumbens. A months earlier I had recorded Annual Pearlwort  Sagina apetala whilst out with the Hub group walking past the Fire Station so I include that here too.

1. Ivy (Hedera helix)

Ivy is good for insect pollinators. See this article from From University of Sussex
  • · On average 89 per cent of pollen pellets brought by worker bees to hives were from ivy. There was no difference between hives located in an urban (Brighton) versus a rural area (University of Sussex).
  • · 80 per cent of honey bees foraging on ivy were collecting nectar not pollen.
  • · Ivy nectar was high quality, with a lot of sugar (49 per cent).
  • · Ivy flowers are visited by a wide range of insects, such as late-season butterflies, hover flies, other types of flies, wasps, bumble bees, and the ivy bee (a bee that specialises on ivy). Insects were attracted to ivy flowers in large numbers in both urban and rural areas.
  • · Ivy is common and available to insects in both town and countryside.

I first saw ivy in flower on 27 Sept, near the mast at the summit of Craven Bank Lane:

There is another variety/species of Ivy that is spreading along the Railway embankment next tot Ashfield Carpark and smothering everything else.

I first recorded ivy in the blog as fruit on 25 April at Giggleswick Golf Course Course

2. Procumbent Pearlwort Sagina procumbens

Procumbent Pearlwort on Tarmac
outside the Large Meeting Room,
St John's Methodist Church Settle on 17 Oct

I think what you can see above at each flower is 4 sepals then virtually no petald, then the fruit has split open.

Procumbent Pearlwort in yard at back of St John's 27 Sept

Procumbent Pearlwort in cobbles below Settle Coop  20 April

3. Annual Pearlwort  Sagina apetala

Sagina apetala is an annual. It is a little tuft, and the shoots are growing upright. It does not have vegetative shoots crawling along the ground as does Procumbent Pearlwort. This was found at the boundary of Settle fire station on 10 Sept but I expect it is still there. 

Total wildflowers in flower Plants in St Johns Surrounding yard on 18 Oct:

Herb Robert
Fox and Cubs
Welsh Poppy
Rough Hawkbit
Smooth Sow Thistle
Procumbent Pearlwort
Petty Spurge
Green Alkanet (brought originally from Settle Allotment)

Rough Hawksbeard at
Entrance to St John's Methodist Church, Settle 

Looking vertically down through these flowers
you see the view below

Leaves: Fox and Cubs - stolons (creepers)
Yellow inflorescences: Rough Hawksbeard
Bud on thicker whiter stalk bottom left: Fox and Cubs Bud
Tiny narrow almost grass-like tiny leaves at bottom: Procumbent Pearlwort

A huge Thank You to Mary in the adjacent house who maintains the flower beds so well at the church entrance. We all appreciate them.

And Thank you to those at the church who look after our small remaining flower bed and hedge at the church -  I am really pleased you left some wildflowers there too.

Saturday 17 October 2020

Settle Wildflowers Day 91 - Green 8 - Orache - Atriplex - to be expanded upon

 Orache - Atriplex species - was found at Giggleswick Station. I shall write more about it later. 

We are now up to about species number 257. 

Click here for more  Settle Lockdown Wildflower Walks

Sunday 11 October 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 90 - Yellow 22 & White 20 - Prickly Ox-tongue, Wild Carrot and Vipers Bugloss (blue) at Knight Stainforth plus Thyme-leaved Sandwort and Watercress

On Monday 5 October the walking group of Settle Scottish Dancers met at Langcliffe and walked via the Locks up the Ribble 

to Stainforth Packhorse Bridge and down via the Hoffman Kiln back to Langcliffe .. stopping at Knight Stainforth for tea and scones. Very civilised.

Maybe this post should come under "White" - but I suspect that my next white posts will be at least a week away. so I'll get it in whilst the plants are fresh.

1. Prickly Oxtongue - Picris echioides - 

This is amazing I thought. How did it get here? It is a south eastern plant. Did they put rubbish on the bank and it has come in with the rubbish.

I was delighted to find Prickly Oxtongue in VC65 near Borough Bridge last month - as a cornfield weed.-- But here? in Upper Ribblesdale.

Two metres further we found Viper's Bugloss - Echium vulgare. I began to get suspicious.

Above us was Teasel. Beyond me was some Greater Burnet, but looking a little more toothed than the local Greater Burnet that we get around here (or in the Derwent Valley). 

There was also some very vigorous Broad-leaved Dock. Though that looked very native!

Then we came across amazingly tall Wild Carrot plants with beautiful fruit.

All was revealed when we met Becky Allen at the far end of the slope, carrying out a gardening job for the Knights Stainforth Park ang strimming the vegetation .. to with an inch or so of the ground. Yes they had planted wildflower seeds on the slope earlier in the year. The people who live at the park and who visit loved the flowers she said.

She was happy to talk and hoped to sew more seeds on the slope later -

I left a little bemused. Glad that people appreciated the flowers. I wished people would also appreciate the native flowers more. . There are some really good wildflowers botanically speaking along the river bank of the Camp site.. In the pasture fields and caravan fields there is very little except grass now due to fertilizers and grazing. Higher up on the thin soil of the hills on cliffs there is more interesting vegetation.

"Planting non local wild plants is probably better than planting wildflowers of "foreign genetic stock" that might then hybridise with local plants." I thought.

I had certainly enjoyed seeing the plants 

And the scone and view at the cafe at Knight Stainforth
(sorry scone half eaten here)

View to Knight Stainforth Hall from cafe garden

On the walk round there were two genuinely wild white flowers to add to my list:- 
Watercress in a stream / flush entering the river 1/4 mile south of the Foss and Campsite

Watercress- still have to check if it is
One-rowed Watercress or Two-rowed Watercress.

Right at the beginning of our walk in the cobbles around the fountain at Langcliffe was Thyme-leaved Sandwort. This is not rare - it grows in dry stony places and footpaths - just it is the first time this year I have a found it in flower. It is tiny.

   Near start of walk.

We'd had a lovely walk!!

Click here for more  Settle Lockdown Wildflower Walks

Saturday 10 October 2020

Settle Wildflowers - Day 89 - Yellow 21 - Sticky Groundsel, Common Groundsel and Ragwort

1. Common Groundsel - Senecio vulgaris

I think we all know Common Groundsel - one of the commonest weeds in our gardens. Each head is made up of I suspect over 100 tiny florets. - Why not pull one apart and count them?

the first picture is from 25 Sept in Giggleswick Station Car Park and the lower one is from 20 April outside the Coop. It is also a plant I often see on my January 1st New Years Day Plant Hunt

25 Sept Giggleswick Station

20 April Cobbles Below the Coop, Settle

2. Sticky Groundsel: Senecio viscosus

This is much less common - and more likely to be found in a dry street waste place than in your fertile garden.

We found it on a Thursday walk from the Hub in September, timed to fit in with the meal that is open ot all on Thursday Lunchtimes - (Settle Community Munchers). there is still lots of it about and a good chance that it too will last till 1 January.

It is like groundsel but it also has ray florets round the edge of the flower head. It has hairs with glands making it sticky.

Sticky Groundsel in Geenfoot Car Park

3. Ragwort - Senecio jacobaea

Cinnabar Moth on Ragwort at Helwith Bridge on YNU excursion

Not a Senecio but a bit similar:
4. Canadian Goldenrod:  Solidago candensis - 10 Sept Watery Lane with the Hub walk to the allotment - A Garden Escape 

Other Senecios:

I have seen other Senecios in Yorkshire.

1. Senecio aquaticus - Marsh Ragwort - I had hoped to find that

There have been, in the BSBI and BSC recording schemes, 1 record in the Settle tetrad and 2 in the Langcliffe Tetrad in the past. All that is necessary is a marshy area next to the river.. but none of my lockdown walks took me to the correct place at the coorect time this year! Maybe another year.

2. Fen Ragwort - I found this at the Slaidburn Forest near Stocks Reservoir many years ago - but that is 9 miles away as the crow flies

3. Oxford Ragwort. There is lots of this on the Railway Line Stations near and on Bradford. Not yet at Settle

4. Narrow-leaved Ragwort or South African Ragwort - Senecio inaequidans - I enjoyed finding this in Bradford on our walk to visit worship buildings of different Faith Organisations in August 2019

I have recorded 250 wildflowers in this blog.

Many plants have finished flowering now.

Do you think there are any more flowers to find at this time of year?

Just you wait!!

Click here for more  Settle Lockdown Wildflower Walks