There are some interesting plants appearing around the old buildings near Earley Gate.
A particularly interesting piece of ground is the site of an old greenhouse adjoining the lawn to the north-east of the Agriculture Building. This looks like a messy, dry piece of waste ground but has some interesting plants:
Ranunculus parviflorus (Small-flowered buttercup) – A few plants have appeared and are in flower at the moment. There have been no previous records of this species at Whiteknights. It is usually a ruderal in sandy fields or on well-drained tracks.
Aquilegia vulgaris (Columbine) – One plant seen despite the fact that there is no sign of this flower in any of the (totally un-cared-for) flower beds near by. No previous records on campus.
Brassica napus (Oilseed rape) – This is a common weed in the countryside and on road verges. It hasn’t been recorded on campus for a number of years. One large plant is in flower against the wall.
Valerianella sp (Cornsalad) – One plant in flower. Four different species of Cornsalad occur in Berkshire but they can only be identified by looking at their fruits. None have been recorded on campus previously.
Viola arvensis (Field pansy) – a number of plants were in full flower in the dry soil. This species was not seen during the plant survey in 2009/10 by David Grice.
Also in this area of campus:
Centranthus ruber (Red valerian) – Two plants are growing on a pile of rubble within one of the locked compounds. This is another species that has never been recorded on campus.
Euphorbia lathyris (Caper spurge) – Plants have appeared around this area with a particularly splendid specimen in full flower at the end of one of the greenhouses. Unfortunately many of the plants seem to be wilting in the recent drier weather.
Geranium lucidum (Shining cranesbill) – Well established in one of the locked compounds. In full flower.