Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Local Botanising

I've been on various relatively local trips over the last few weeks looking for one flower or another so I thought that I'd write them all up under one post. The first one was a few weeks back now at the start of July when I went to Bald Hill, near Aston Rowant, to look for Frog Orchids. Never having been there before, I started off looking in the wrong field until a call to my go-to orchid guru Wayne put me straight. I found one almost immediately but try as I might I couldn't find any more and later on couldn't even re-find my original one though I think that by that time I'd gone grass-blind from staring at all the greenery for so long!

My one Frog Orchid
The Yellow-wort was just coming into flower...
...whereas this Chalk Fragrant Orchid was just going over

My next trip was just over the border to the ancient hill fort at Ladle Hill in Hants. This was supposed to be a good site for Burnt-tip Orchid and even though it was rather late for this species, having been told that at this location they were the late flowering July variety I thought that I'd give it a punt. It was a very interesting location and covered in flowers of all varieties but try as I might I couldn't find any Burnt-tips at all. I did manage to find a few other things of interest and it was good to acquaint myself with a new location so I was happy enough.

Clustered Bellflower.
Not Autumn Gentian as I mistakenly posted - thanks to Ian Elkins & Steve Gale for the correction
Dwarf Thistle
There were plenty of Pyramidal Orchids
My last trip was a sortie to a location north of Oxford. Having had a tip-off from Wayne I ventured forth one eventing with the family in tow. I dropped most of them off at Sainsbury's for a shop whilst our son L and I headed off to a remarkably non-descript farmland area to pay homage to the rare Downy Woundwort that was now in flower. The actual location itself was full of all sorts of wild flowers and I would have loved to have spent some time rummaging around but as we had to return to pick up the others from their shopping expedition, in the end it was a very quick visit.

Nettle-leaved Bellflower
Wild Basil
Woolly Thistle
The Downy Woundwort - very downy indeed but already past its best
There was a little small one as well which was even more downy
I'm just starting to appreciate how Oxon, whilst being rather poorly located for birds, its actually quite well situated for plants. So expect a few few more of these local botany posts to come.


Steve Gale said...

Adam, your Autumn Gentian looks like Clustered Bellflower

Adam Hartley (Gnome) said...

Yes, thanks for that Steve - you are of course right!