US social scientist Kenneth Boulding : ‘If you believe exponential growth can go on in a finite world, you are either a madman or an economist’.

Monday, 3 August 2009

3/8/09: Barnehurst and Bexleyheath botany

Knopper Galls on Pedunculate Oak on the north edge of Bursted Wood indicates that there is a Turkey oak nearby, as the gall wasp responsible needs both species.

Dogs Mercury was noted by the south east corner of Bursted Wood school field, where a Fox was out and about in daylight following the hedge line.

Within the hospital grounds here was a small patch of Mouse-ear Hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum), which I've so far only found in small amounts in a few scattered loactions in the north west of Bexley Borough.

There was a plant of Black Nightshade in Lavernock Rd.

A number of Robinia pseudoacacia saplings were growing under a hedge in the graveyard of St. John's, Bexleyheath.

The usual assemblage of plants for closely mown grass was in evidence aroound the youth club at the junction of Oakhouse/Highland/Albion Rds, including Buck's-horn Plantain, along with some 'relics' of cultivation such as Sedum (probably album) and Cypress Spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias). There were 3 White Campion. Also Hoary Cress in a nearby shrub bed.

If I'm to add to my lists and make them more comprehensive for given sites, I need to get my head around Compositae. So I got the book out on some tall, distinctive-looking specimens on a 'raised bed' on the south side of Albion Rd. There were several plants, and they were identified as Perennial Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis).

Perennial Sow-thistle, Albion Rd, Bexleyheath.

There were a couple more on Watling Street, outside the former Woolwich Building Society premises. There was a single specimen of Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) in flower on the Erith Rd side, a species that appears to be infrequent hereabouts.

A mosaic-variegated Sycamore sapling was growing out of the hedge round Gravel Hill Primary School (I saw another in a hedge round Russell Park some weeks ago)

Spotted Medick was amongst the species in the grass verge on Epsom Close, and there were two specimens of Sun Spurge on the 'island' in Midfield Parade, Barnehurst. A heather, in flower, was growing out of a split old sack of compost (presumably peat) outside the hardware shop here.

Thyme-leaved Speedwell (Veronica serpyllifolia) was noticed in flower in a lawn on Hillingdon Rd, only my third or fourth record in the Borough of Bexley.

I'd recorded the Himalayan Balsam in a front garden by the path off Northall Rd to Barnehurst station last year, but the collapse of the brick wall since now revealed Common Calamint, a couple of plants of which had now seeded into the wall/tarmac crack along the edge of the public side of the path. This is my second record of the species after finding a few in Martens Grove recently.

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