Grappling with buttercups

Brenda writes: “Today I was mostly working. I started the day at Burnham Sutton and in the churchyard there was a clump of buttercups – so it was time to bite the bullet and work out which one as they’re really not easy! Having consulted both field guides and another book which has photographs my view is that this is bulbous buttercup. There are three main identifying features; the stem bases are swollen, the leaves are deeply cut and the sepals – which are the under-petals sitting below the yellow flower petals, rather than sitting against them – are turned downward so that they look as though they are clasping the stem. That’s the clincher and I should now be easily able to identify this one again.

bulbous buttercup

In the evening I was delivering leaflets in Warham village again, an opportunity to survey what’s in flower in the village. I did half the village today, so when I’ve finished I’ll add up the total number of flowers. Meanwhile, there were two new species. Earlier in the year Norfolk Wildlife Trust did an initial flower survey in both of the churchyards and mentioned that they had found meadow saxifrage. Here it is, in flower in St Mary Magdalene churchyard.

meadow saxifrage

Finally in a field on the edge of the village I saw my first red campion of the year. I don’t know why it isn’t called pink campion but there we are! There are four flowers in the campion family, red, white, sea and bladder, all of which I expect to see in the course of the year.”

red campion

New species for April 26th:
Flowers: red campion, bulbous buttercup, meadow saxifrage