|Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara, the flowers appear well before the leaves, was late in flowering this year|
|Blackthorn Prunus spinosa - A lot has been planted, for example along the orbital road, but there are still the odd plants in many of teh hedgerows and as isolted bushes or small groups on Waldridge Fell and South Burn Wood.|
I joined the newly formed DWT Botany group last year and though it's unlikely we'll ever vist the square (but never say never) I reckon it has incresed my knowledge of plants and may well help me identify a few new ones this year. We had Chris Metherell give us an excellent talk on Euphrasia (Eyebrights) last week and hopefully when they are out in June I can get around to sorting them out. I think there are two (at least) species on the fell which in the past I have just called E. nemorosa but after the talk, and a session on going through his herbarium I suspect neither are this species. We'll wait and see.
As well as flowering plants we have also done a fungus foray or two last autumn but I have hardly looked so far this year hence only 3 very common species.
|Birch Polypore Piptoporus betulinus - one of the commonest and most noticable woodland fungi|
|Wrinkled Crust Fungi Phlebia radiata - the pinky crust fungus common on dead trees and causing White Rot|
|Variable Oysterling Crepidotus variabilis - Another common species|
Recently I attended a session on Sphagnum Moss identification at Stanley Moss near Tow Law, which was very informative. Here at Wanister Bog and the adjacent Felledge Wood there are 5 Sphagnum species. I saw 3 species last time (S. fallax, palustre and squarrosum) and with my new found knowledge relocated them surprsingly easily, together with a 4th, S.cuspidatum, the day after, while everything was still fresh in my mind. That just leaves Sphagnum fibriatum, which I did see at Stanley Moss, to find here
I had not got around to checking for much more yet and like fungi it will be getting a bit late for many species so will have to wait until later in the year to boost the numbers. Finally I managed to identify one algae so far, Trentepohlia abietina, which is the one that forms bright orange patches on tree trunks and 1 lichen, the very common Hammered Shield Lichen Parmelia sulcata
|Hammered Shield Lichen Parmelia sulcata - The lobes on this grey-green lichen have ridges and dents giving it a hammered look.|