Ptyxis Ecology - Our Botany Blog

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Cow-wheat and whin grassland

Bad week for meadow surveys this week because of the weather and the forecast is bad for next week too. Rain has been torential here at times this week. We went for a walk on the other side of the Tyne during the week and came across a spectacular display of common cow-wheat. Took some photos of it in dull weather on Saturday.

Today I went searching for some of the county's rare plants to help with a new 'county rare plant register' for Northumberland. I didn't find anything that I was looking for but came across some extensive areas of whin grassland near Hadrian's Wall at Walltown. Whin grassland grows on thin soils on outcrops of whin. It is found only in Northumberland. The grasslands I saw today were becoming parched and were dominated mainly by slender parsley-piert and early hair-grass. This is a good habitat for winter ephemerals so its best to see them early in the year and very occasionally it has some real rarities like maiden pink and chives.


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