Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Weasel's-snout amongst the barley harvest

The combine harvesters have been busy, bringing in the last of the barley around Lizard in the last week in late summer sun. As part of my rare plant surveys this year I've been out and about, looking for a specialised group of plants known as arable weeds. Poppy and corncockle are some of the more well known arable weeds, plants which have grown happily alongside our crops for centuries, but which have declined rapidly in the last fifty years as grain can now be 'cleaned' of weed seeds, and herbicide use has increased. Unfortunately no shows of poppies or corncockle to be found, but good news in that with careful searching I have found a couple of interesting species in amongst the stubble. Pictured above is weasel's-snout, or lesser snapdragon, and it is a species listed as vulnerable nationally, as is field woundwort which I found in several fields around Lizard Point. The pretty field pansy (photo below), is also quite widespread, and always lovely to see. Keep your eyes peeled!  


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