Author Topic: Flora  (Read 20970 times)

sunnydale

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Re: Flora
« Reply #165 on: 21:31:51, 14/01/18 »
Snowdrops just beginning to open in Chagford churchyard today.....


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....and there a quite a few clumps doing well here in Bakewell too.....in my garden, to be precise! 8)
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fernman

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Re: Flora
« Reply #166 on: 22:44:10, 14/01/18 »
The best I saw during last Thursday's (11th) walk in Hertfordshire were hazel catkins, you know, the long dangly ones, and there were daffs in bud at the side of a lane.

But for me personally January and February are possibly the best time of the year for discovering certain wintergreen fern species which, though reasonably common in the west and the north of the country, are less so in the south-east north of the Thames. This adds an extra dimension to my winter walks. Although last year's fronds are by now flattened to the ground from wind, rain and snow, the plants can be spotted from some distance without all the intervening tree leaves and thick green undergrowth that hide them from view in other months.

Jac

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Re: Flora
« Reply #167 on: 10:46:31, 15/01/18 »
The best I saw during last Thursday's (11th) walk in Hertfordshire were hazel catkins, you know, the long dangly ones, and there were daffs in bud at the side of a lane.

But for me personally January and February are possibly the best time of the year for discovering certain wintergreen fern species which, though reasonably common in the west and the north of the country, are less so in the south-east north of the Thames. This adds an extra dimension to my winter walks. Although last year's fronds are by now flattened to the ground from wind, rain and snow, the plants can be spotted from some distance without all the intervening tree leaves and thick green undergrowth that hide them from view in other months.

Please, if poss, could you post a picture of the wintergreen fern ( I thought wintergreen was something rubbed on your chest when you had a cold?) I'll never a be a fern (or any other sort of) expert but would be interested as I might spot one being in the southwest. It is that 'extra dimension' afforded by being aware of what is around you that makes walking really worth while.
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fernman

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Re: Flora
« Reply #168 on: 14:35:58, 15/01/18 »
Tricky, without giving you a botany lesson!
The photos below are of what I had in mind. They are scaly male-fern, Dryopteris affinis.
It's a very robust species that has thick and heavily scaled lower stems, and the upper surface of the frond is glossy. During the growing season, mid-May to October, these plants would be around 5 ft tall. It grows on mildly acid soils.
If you want to take the i.d. further, on this species there is normally a dark spot on on the underside of the frond at the junction of each little green "leaflet"  and the stem it is attached to.
The old fronds persist until new ones start unfurling around early May. By comparison, the common and rather similar male fern Dryopteris filix-mas will have died back and gone golden brown by January except in sheltered spots in woodland etc.
A common species in the south-west where you are is the soft shield-fern, Polystichum setiferum; it grows on more limey soils. This is largely wintergreen, and each of the little green "leaflets" (correctly called pinnules) is somewhat sickle-shaped, with a point at the tip and a blunt thumb at its base.
See if you can borrow a copy of "Ferns, Clubmosses, Quillworts and Horsetails of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly" by R. Murphy and others (2012) from a library.

Jac

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Re: Flora
« Reply #169 on: 10:37:10, 16/01/18 »
 ??? Thank you - I will look more closely at the ferns that I am seeing still green in the woods now. I like ferns, lichen, mosses and liverworts. The colours and forms that they give to the countryside goes almost completely overlooked. Sadly, will never get to grips with the minutiae of identification - just not in my make up - but even the tiniest bit of extra knowledge adds to the enjoyment of a walk.
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

Mel

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Re: Flora
« Reply #170 on: 12:27:15, 16/01/18 »
Cheers fernman.  I also look at the plant life, more so at this time of year as it adds an element of interest on what can be fairly bland winter walking.  That and spotting birds.
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Mel

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Re: Flora
« Reply #171 on: 18:27:13, 04/02/18 »
Spring is sprunging  :D


Dangly Catkins:



Soggy Snowdrops:



Yellow things:




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Tin

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Re: Flora
« Reply #172 on: 18:48:58, 04/02/18 »
Nice to see signs of Spring  :)


A bit early for them but the yellow things look like they could be a type of buttercup. We do have celandines out here which are in the buttercup family.

Mel

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Re: Flora
« Reply #173 on: 18:58:16, 04/02/18 »
Cheers Tin, they could well be - on my close-up nosey at them they did look as if they could unfurl into a buttercup type of thing.  I've just noticed they're next to some Daffy leaves as well.


....OOOOoooOOOoooOOOhhhh Spring is nearly here  :D


Plus, on my walk today, it sounded like there were more birds around... could have been that the existing winter residents were simply making the most of the sunshine too though  :)
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fernman

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Re: Flora
« Reply #174 on: 19:03:14, 04/02/18 »
The "yellow things" are winter aconite, and they are indeed a member of the Buttercup family!
They are an introduced species in Britain, just the like snowdrop, but they have been around for so long that they have become naturalised in many places.

Tin

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Re: Flora
« Reply #175 on: 19:05:52, 04/02/18 »
The birds are definitely getting noisier here too and our resident woodpecker last week started knocking on the metal plate on the wooden pylon to advertise his presence to any females.

Tin

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Re: Flora
« Reply #176 on: 19:07:18, 04/02/18 »
The "yellow things" are winter aconite, and they are indeed a member of the Buttercup family!
They are an introduced species in Britain, just the like snowdrop, but they have been around for so long that they have become naturalised in many places.


Thank you fernman, I was hoping you'd come along to let us know :)

Mel

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Re: Flora
« Reply #177 on: 13:48:57, 05/02/18 »
Cheers again fernman :)

You do realise you have now appointed yourself as thr forum's Official Recogniser Of Plants Expert :D
No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/