Monday, 4 January 2016

New Year's Day Plant Hunt

We took part in  BSBI's New Year's Day Plant Hunt, the aim being to count plants in full flower, with the records going to BSBI for comparison and analysis.   After an excellent dinner on New Year's Eve with our neighbours, a long ramble - 3 hours suggested by BSBI -seemed a bit ambitious, and the threat of rain meant that we could conveniently limit our wander around the village to a modest 90 minutes, taking us past the allotments, over a pasture and arable field and back along the Chipping Norton road to the heart of the village.   Our total was 25 species , though I lost my list and reported only 22 to BSBI.

Petty Spurge Creeping Comfrey
Groundsel Green Alkanet
Annual Meadow Grass Lesser Celandine
Cock's-foot Nipplewort
Smooth Sow-thistle Daisy
Wall Lettuce Dove's-foot Cranesbill
Snowdrop Field pansy
Primrose Creeping Buttercup
Pink Campion Field Madder
White Dead-nettle Hogweed
Red Dead-nettle Orpine
Shepherd's-purse Dandelion
Wavy Bitter-cress

Red Campion

White Dead-nettle


Creeping Comfrey
There was nothing remarkable but they represented a crossover of late flowering autumn plants and early flowering spring plants.  Most would be described as weeds.

We also found a couple of fungi - Yellow Field cap and probably Spring Brittlestem,  Psathyrella spadiceogrisea.   The doubt is over the number of Psathyrella species in the UK and the microscopic work needed to be confident of a species ID which I did not do.

Yellow Field Cap (Bolbitius tutubans)
Probably Spring Brittlestem (Psathyrella spadiceogrisea)

Spores 12 x 7 microns

Spores 8 x 5 microns
Recent heavy rain meant that there were lots of muddy paths.   We found some nice fox and badger prints on a run by the roadside.   I think the sett is around 200 yards from where we found the print.

A gentle start to the new year.

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