The BSBI New Year’s Hunt takes place in the period 1st to 4th January this year. I went out on the 2nd which was sunny but not particularly warm. Even searching the sunniest banks I could find, I was still disappointed with my count: Only 20 species. Maybe I should have spent more time in the open grassland areas. Last year Dr M and his students found 38 species. Most of the species on their list that I didn’t find were meadow species still flowering from the previous year.
One of the drawbacks of searching on campus is that both the grounds team and the Harris Garden volunteers seem to be well ahead with their autumn/winter workload. Most of the meadows had a late cut last year, with the cuttings being taken away – which is great for the meadows but leaves no standing stems with a few late flowers. Most of the weeds in flower beds and around paths had also been cleared. Those that had germinated since were too small to flower.
The full list:
|Annual meadow-grass||Poa annua||Stamens seen|
|Butcher’s broom||Ruscus aculeatus||Native?|
|Canadian fleabane||Conyza canadensis|
|Cock’s –foot||Dactylis glomerata||Stamens seen|
|Common mouse-ear||Cerastium fontanum|
|Common nettle||Urtica dioica||Female plant|
|Dandelion||Taraxacum officinale agg.|
|Hazel||Corylus avellana||Male catkins|
|Moroccan toadflax||Linaria morrocana||Self-seeded from planting of annual flowers in 2010.|
|Petty spurge||Euphorbia peplus|
|Prickly sow-thistle||Sonchus asper|
|Purple deadnettle||Lamium purpureum|
|??? too small for cornflower||???||Self-seeded from planting of annual flowers in 2010.|