Yesterday evening, Julian Woodman from Natural Resources Wales led us on a plant ramble through a special site of scientific interest near Pentyrch.
The chosen spot was a rare grassland plant community. Julian pointed out a range of grassland plants including Black knapweed (Centaurea nigra); Yarrow (Achilliea millefolium) and Eyebright (Euphrasia spp.) - a hepi-parasitie (a plant that contains some chlorophyll and therefore is capable of photosynthesis but does draw some organic nutriment from another living plant).
Eyebright (Euphrasia spp.); Black knapweed (Centaurea nigra); Yarrow (Achilliea millefolium).
Julian also pointed out Devil's bit scabious (Succisa pratensis) so named because of it's root system which looks as if it has been bitten off!
Devil's bit scabious (Succisa pratensis); Mixed grassland; Meadow thistle (Cirsium dissectum).
In a damper part of the site Meadow thistle (Cirsium dissectum) was found to be growing - a very rare plant apparently! It was growing well here because of the underlying lime in the soil.
As we walked through the damper spots we found some sedge - and Maria (Grow Wild Wales) shared the rhyme to help us distinguish between sedges, rushes and grasses: "Sedges have edges, Rushes are round, Grasses are hollow down to the ground."
Maria also pointed out Red dead nettle (Lamium purpureum) and Julian spotted Fleabane which was used to strew on floors as a repellent to fleas.
Maria plantspotting, Dead nettle, Fleabane, Meadow buttercup.
We also spotted a cricket and Jack found inspiration for some plant-based headware.
This walk was made possible thanks to Grow Wild.