New Year’s Hunt at Whiteknights

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
Daisy Bellis perennis
Dandelion Taraxacum officinale agg.
Fat-hen Chenopodium album
Gorse Ulex europaeus
Groundsel Senecio vulgaris
Hazel Corylus avellana Male catkins
Moroccan toadflax Linaria morrocana Self-seeded from planting of annual flowers in 2010.
Nipplewort Lapsana communis
Parsnip Pastinaca sativa
Petty spurge Euphorbia peplus
Prickly sow-thistle Sonchus asper
Purple deadnettle Lamium purpureum
Yarrow Achillea milleforme
??? too small for cornflower ??? Self-seeded from planting of annual flowers in 2010.

About Fay Newbery

PhD student in the Plant Pathology Research Group.
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One Response to New Year’s Hunt at Whiteknights

  1. Pingback: Dr M Goes Wild about plants at the Association of Science Education 2015 | Dr M Goes Wild

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