A new broom

Brenda writes: “What I very quickly learned as a novice flower watcher is that there’s a lot more to it than just looking at the flower. There are many plants with similar flowers in both shape and colour but in order to correctly identify them you have to look at the rest of the plant. So I thought it might be worth talking about two plants which are now flowering at the same time in a similar habitat. First we have gorse which has a bright yellow pea-shaped flower. The woody stalks are densely covered in sharp spines and branch in all directions.


Whilst it’s always a thrill spotting a new species in flower, one of the greatest joys is seeing them in their full flowering season. So right now the verges are studded with deep orange dandelions, on the green by our house there is a profusion of cowslips and, after just a few days there is both pink and white honesty everywhere. This morning I drove up a lane lined on either side with a forest of alexanders. Plants change too, so the red deadnettle flowers become a deeper pink and the leaves turn pink too. Today there was a first sight of hoary cress which will soon line the grass verges with its fluffy white flower-heads, and I noted greater celandine as I walked to the church in Wells. I have seen buttercups when driving but can’t commit to the specific species without a closer look, so I won’t add that yet!”

New species for April 23rd:
Flowers: hoary cress, greater celandine