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’.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

10/10/09: Some Southwark and Lambeth side-street species

Having messed up and failed to check for weekend engineering works, I couldn't get to the London Natural History Society meeting I'd intended to go to in time because of bus substitution. But I bought a Travelcard anyway, and decided to set out from London Bridge station with no particular route in mind. As it happens, I eventually ended up by the terminus at Waterloo. Most of the journey was within the London Borough of Southwark, with the end part in Lambeth.

There was a lot of Galinsoga around London Bridge station between Railway Approach and London Bridge Street, in O'Meara St and Redcross St.

A Hart's-tongue Fern was growing in a wet spot under the railway arches on O'Meara St.

The flora around St. Joseph's School on Redcross Way included Pellitory-of-the-wall, Woody Nightshade and Spotted Medick.

Take away the car, the road markings and recast in sepia or black-and-white and Copperfield St (below) with its large Limes wouldn't look out of place in a collection of pictures from the early 1900s.

Copperfield St - olde worlde, semi-countrified feel (apart from the car ....)

There's a battle going on with the church over a proposed re-development of All Hallows, where this huge Fig (Ficus carica) - the largest I've ever seen - grows in the grounds by the road.

Very large Fig tree, All Hallows Church, Copperfield Street

A couple of ferns were growing in the recessed corner of the churchyard wall at the corner of Copperfield St and Pepper St. One was Asplenium (probably) trichomanes. A piece of the other, the fronds of which had by now died and dried, is pictured here:

Fern from Pepper St, Southwark, believed to be Chinese Holly Fern (Cyrtomium falcatum), an introduced species.

I don't have a modern fern identification, guide so have resorted to websites. Please comment if you think I've got this wrong (or right!).

There were also 24 small Hart's-tongue ferns in the wall further along Pepper St.

There was more from China ....

Juxtaposition of the very old and the very new: the Gingko, or Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba), increasingly used in urban streets, looks the part as a 'modern' architectural plant when set against this recent development at the junction of Dolben St and Great Suffolk St.

Fossils recognisably related to today's Ginkgo date back 270 million years to the Permian period, with one of perhaps only two species, G. gardneri, having been found in the Paleocene of Scotland.

Geranium rotundifolium seedling (left) - with characteristic dark spots at the lobe junctions, in a stone sett 'lane' off Dolben St

The Lambeth Borough side of Gray Street is the first place where I've found both of the South American Soldiers, Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata) and Gallant Soldier (Galinsoga parviflora), growing within a stone's-throw of each other. In my experience the latter is taller, more slender, has longer internodes (to the fowering stems), is more widely branching, not noticeably hairy, with usually smooth or far less idented leaf margins and tends to be a paler colour. If there are any other naturalised Galinsoga that these might be, I'm not aware of it.

Gallant Soldier (Galinsoga parviflora), by the Stage Door pub on Gray Street

Some of the large number Gallant Soldier (Galinsoga parviflora) growing on steps outside a disused office building on Waterloo Rd (next to No. 133-155)

There were a further 6 Shaggy Soldier in the sloping road leading up to the side of Waterloo terminus station.

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