Wednesday, 15 July 2015
I was delighted to come across a single plant of Venus's Looking Glass (above) on the edge of Epsom Downs this morning. Chance plays a big part in finding such things, and I just happened to be wandering along the edge of a field that I rarely pass. An open, chalky corner got my attention and as always it was checked for so called 'arable weeds' - bingo! It has been recorded in the area before, but not for a number of years I believe.
If there was ever a flowerhead that looks as if it had been designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, then this is it - Round-headed Rampion. It is a local plant of chalk grassland and we are lucky enough to have several places on Epsom and Walton Downs where it grows.
We are currently experiencing a very good flowering on Epsom Downs. Areas of grassland that previously have been devoid of interest are proving to be well worth a look - I'm assuming that there has been a lessening of cutting and spraying, or maybe this observer has not been opening his eyes properly in the past? Clovers, Small and Field Scabious, Lady's Bedstraw, Field Bindweed (variants above), Squinancywort, Cat's-ear... I could go on... are colouring the downland slopes to great effect.