Hedgerows & Woodlands

HERACLEUM SPHONDYLIUM




'Hogweed', 'Cow Parsnip', 'Keck' (HERACLEUM SPHONDYLIUM)

Druce found this to be abundant and generally distributed in hedgerows, thickets and pastures in Buckinghamshire a century ago; a stout erect hispid biennial 50-200cm; umbels 5-15cm diam., terminal and axillary



Flowers 5-10mm diam., white or pinkish, petals deeply notched, those of outer flowers very unequal

Underside of flowering umbel - showing deeply notched petals better than image above

Umbel with flowers mostly in bud - a few outer ones with open flowers

Underside of young umbel - showing a few  bracteoles

Leaves 15-60cm., simply pinnate, segments 5-15cm, variously lobed or pinnatisect, serrate, ovate to linear-lanceolate, lower stalked

Very white hairy under surface of leaf; hispid on both surfaces

Umbels with young fruit

Fruit 7-8mm, suborbicular becoming whitish

Styles short, erect, becoming reflexed when fruit ripe; several bracteoles visible but not reflexed (at this stage at least); fruit strongly dorsally compressed, commissure very broad, carpels nearly flat; as these fruits are immature, other characteristics cannot be seen yet

Small number of bracts; rays 7-20, 1-6cm, stout



Stems hollow



----------------------------------------------------------
LONICERA  PERICYLMENUM

'Honeysuckle' or 'Woodbine' (LONICERA PERICLYMENUM) - Druce found this to be a common climbing shrub in woods, thickets and hedges in Buckinghamshire a century a go

Flowers in terminal heads; corolla 4-5cm, with long tube and spreading limb, cream-white within, turning darker after pollination (this was photographed at the beginning of July), purplish or yellowish and glandular outside

Leaves ovate, elliptic or oblong, dark green above, glaucous beneath, usually acute, lower shortly petioled, upper subsessile, smaller

---------------------------------------------------------------------

SILENE  DIOICA

'Red Campion' (SILENE DIOICA)

Druce found this (in his day known as LYCHNIS DIOICA) in woods, hedges and shady places on light soils but not on clays, chalk or limestone in Buckinghamshire a century ago; petals bright rose-coloured, rarely white, the limb broadly obovate, deeply bifid into narrow segments

calyx-tube hairy and slightly viscid, teeth triangular-acute

Basal leaves obovate, narrowed into long winged stalk; upper leaves obovate-oblong, short-stalked or +/- sessile

Leaf-blades acute or acuminate, hairy

...................................................................................................................

GERANIUM  ROBERTIANUM

I am relieved to finally, after SEVERAL abortive attempts, to manage to secure a reasonable set of images of 'Herb Robert' (GERANIUM ROBERTIANUM) - which I have come across in a number of parts of the world including, appropriately, the Himalaya; my first sightings being in Kashmir (I may well utilised images taken in the UK of species found in the Western Himalaya, to enrich my A-Z of Western Himalayan Flowers - though one must be careful as there can be significant differences). It is found in shady valleys at Narkunda near Shimla, Northern India

Getting the exposure right on its charming but small flowers seems a particular challenge; the petals are typically bright pink (occasionally white), anthers orange or purple

Sepals oblong-ovate, long aristate +/- pilose and glandular

Leaves palmate, lower mostly with 5 leaflets; the upper (as above and below) mostly ternate; Druce found this to be common and generally distributed in Buckinghamshire a century ago in hedges, woods, preferring shelter, yet able to grow in full sun and wind exposure on walls or on roofs of barns; it is also found amongst rocks and on shingle - an extremely 'exposed' habitat

Underside of leaf with scattered appressed hairs

Stems reddish tinged clothed with dense hairs; the plant is reputed to have a strong, disagreeable smell but I have yet to notice this - mind you my nose is often "bunged up" due to hay-fever (what an affliction to have as an active 'field-botanist') during summer months; it is probably less prominent during the winter

Young carpels - reticulately ridged but often with fewer longitudinal than transverse ridges, which will be more prominent when mature

Carpels clothed with short stiff hairs (in this case) or glabrous

----------------------------------------------------------------------

GEUM  URBANUM

'Herb Bennet' or 'Wood Avens' (GEUM  URBANUM)

Druce found this to be common and generally distributed in Buckinghamshire woods, thickets and hedges a century ago, preferring shade

Photographed in Surrey

Flowers few, erect, on long stalks in very open cymes; petals yellow, spreading, obovate or oblong, about as long as sepals, entire (photographed in Buckinghamshire); widespread in Europe, extending to the Himalaya - common in the temperate zone of N.Pakistan and Kashmir @ 2100-4200m; common in Shimla, N.India

Calyx green, sepals triangular-lanceolate (photographed in Buckinghamshire)

Photographed in Surrey with broader lobes

Flowers finished, fruits starting to form; stamens still prominent

Young carpels, hirsute, remaining in a sessile head, awn purplish; jointed near the apex, the lower part hooked

..............................................................................................................

ROSA  CANINA

'Dog Rose' (ROSA CANINA); Druce found this rose to be generally distributed and frequent in hedges and thickets in Buckinghamshire a century ago; this aggregate species was first recorded in 1843; in Druce's day at least 10 sub-groups were included but he draw attention to the limitations of these 'sub-groups' which seemed somewhat arbitrary and often it was difficult to place certain gatherings under one or another sub-group, much less fit them with published names.  Consequently the distruubtion of these groups was imperfectly know.  His own belief was that a great amount of tHis extreme variability arises from the effect of past hybridisation

Flowers are pink (as they were a 100m along the hedgerow) or as in this case, white

.........................................................................................................................



FRAXINUS  EXCELSIOR

Young glossy green fruits of 'Ash' (FRAXINUS  EXCELSIOR) photographed late May 2015

............................................................................................................................

ARUM  MACULATUM

'Lords and Ladies' (ARUM  MACULATUM)

..............................................................................................................

ANTHRISCUS  SYLVESTRIS

'Cow Parsley' (ANTHRISCUS  SYLVESTRIS)

Very common in Buckinghamshire woods, hedges, roadsides & churchyards; Druce found this abundant and generally distributed in rich, moist soil, preferring shade and shelter; in field it may often be found growing in those portions shaded by a clump of trees, while in the unshaded portions it is absent; doubtless in the past sheep, in seeking shelter, help to scatter its fruits, but these do not survive the competition of grasses etc. in unshaded parts; it is the earliest of our native umbellifers to flower and commonest in low lying parts of Buckinghamshire

Note prominent white hairs where leaf-stalk meet stem

Immature oblong-ovoid fruits, very shortly beaked; styles spreading, slender

Several ovate bracteoles, aristate, fringed, often pink (it is great to be able to illustrate such close-up characters, which help confirm an identification compared with the photos within Roger Philipp's WILD FLOWERS OF BRITAIN published in 1977, which I still use to this day).  I was able to observe such details using a x10 or x20 hand lens but there were few guides showing such 'magnified' characteristics (the Botanical Society of the British Isle did produce a guide to the UMBELLIFERAE [now APIACEAE] family illustrated by line-drawings which included close-ups of fruits, aware that many genera and species were challenging to identify with confidence.  Not everyone had ready access to pressed specimens in herbaria to compare samples with.

............................................................................................................................................

CONIUM  MACULATUM

Another umbellifer to name - initially I wondered if this was something NEW to me but concluded it was just a young form of 'Hemlock' (CONIUM  MACULATUM)

Pretty white flowers

Characteristic purple blotches on the stem

I am more accustomed to larger, more robust forms taller than I am

.....................................................................................................................
ALLIARIA  PETIOLATA

'Hedge Garlic' or 'Jack-by-the-hedge' (ALLIARIA  PETIOLATA)

Very common at woodland margins and hedgerows in Buckinghamshire; Druce recorded it as common and generally distributed a century ago; the name 'Jack-by-the-Hedge' is a variant of the old Herbe John, a name used for it in Hampshire in the early seventeenth century; there is a specimen of it in the Natural History Museum herbarium collected by Sir Joseph Banks at Salt Hill (Slough) about 1780

The white petals are twice as long as the sepals

Young fruits, which become prominent later in year (will photograph examples) by curving at base so as to stand almost erect, along with foliage which turns yellowish

....................................................................................................................................
EUPHORBIA  AMYGYDALOIDES

'Wood Spurge' (EUPHORBIA AMYGYDALOIDES)

Photographed in Upper Inhams Copse, Hampshire

Glands lunate with converging horns

............................................................................................................

AJUGA  REPTANS

'Bugle' (AJUGA REPTANS)

Photographed in Upper Inhams Copse, Hampshire

...........................................................................................................................

HYACINTHOIDES  NON-SCRIPTA

Bluebell

HYACINTHOIDES  NON-SCRIPTA

In Druce's day blue bells were known as SCILLA NON-SCRIPTA (when I began taking an interest in plants it was ENDYMION NON-SCRIPTUS); a century ago it was abundant and widely distributed in woods, thickets, coppices, hedges, bushy heaths and commons in Buckinghamshire; a great glory in woods at that time, preferring shade and shelter and leaf mould soil. Its presence in pastures suggests they were once woodland; nowadays it is not as abundant - particular in areas where habitation has expanded, with a reduction in woodland and presumably it has been trampled badly in many woods frequented by people

Young ovoid fruits

The remains of bluebell foliage on a woodland floor; bluebells are part of the pre-vernal spring flora which brightens up our woods prior to or just as trees are coming into leaf, when light is available in abundance but then it dies back (or in the case of bluebells, retreats back into its bulb to avoid months of heavy shade)



..........................................................................................................................................

CHELIDONIUM  MAJUS

'Greater Celandine' (CHELIDONIUM MAJUS) - an attractive member of the poppy family

Druce found this common and widely distributed in hedges and banks near villages, preferring shelter and partial shade in Buckinghamshire a century ago

Petals bright yellow, broadly obovate; stamens yellow, filaments thickened above; sepals greenish-yellow +/- hairy

leaves almost pinnate, with 5-7 ovate to blong leaflets; terminal leaflets 3-lobed

I can find no reference to the abundance of soft white hairs on the specimen above within 'Flora of the British Isles'

Greater Celandine colonising a tree-trunk at the edge of a wood in Surrey

Certainly never come across a clump like this before....

--------------------------------------------------------------------


EUONYMUS EUROPEAUS





Spindle (EUONYMUS EUROPEAUS) - Druce found this locally common and widely distrubted, especially on calcareous soils in Buckinghamshire

A great adornment to autumn hedgerows a century ago but less common these days; it grew in the past along the woodland ride at Old Slade Lane Nature Reserve, Richings Park in the 1980s but like many species, is no more - as the ride has almost become a paved short-cut for workers in an industrial area and the reserve was abandoned by the then Berks, Bucks & Oxon Naturalist Trust for massive gravel extraction - admittedly the reserve had begun life, primarily for bird-life after a smaller-scale gravel extraction.  Bill Watkin-Williams, the Warden, who enlisted my help to produce a check-list of plants to attempt to fight to save the reserve, would, like me, be depressed.....

Deep pink fruits, 4-lobed, exposing bright orange aril after opening

------------------------------------------------------------------

FRAXINUS  EXCELSIOR

Ash (FRAXINUS EXCELSIOR) - distinctive large black buds which identify the tree with certainty even during winter months when leaves have dropped

Imparipinnate leaves with lanceolate to ovate, serrate leaflets

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Chris walking along a canal beside woodland, Iver (Photo: © Matthew Chadwell)

--------------------------------------------------------------------

CARPINUS BETULUS

Hornbeam (CARPINUS BETULUS)

Small nuts developing within 3-lobed bract-like involucres


'Hornbeam' (CARPINUS BETULUS)

Joseph Chadwell examining foliage of Hornbeam
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
CORNUS SANGUINEA

This seems likely to be Dogwood (CORNUS SANGUINEA)

The creamy-white flowers flowering for a second time in September (usually June to July) - with an expanse of specimens in full fruit beside it (see below)......

Fruit black, sub-globose - with purplish-red stalks

Druce, 'Flora of Buckinghamshire' (1926) found this was common in hedges, thickets and riversides, especially on chalk but the nearest record from that time was at Wraysbury; perhaps it  has been planted on a bank above the M25 near Iver - or the motorway has aided its dispersal?

It is certainly flourishing....

----------------------------------------------------------------------

RUBUS CAESIUS

'Dewberry' (RUBUS CAESIUS) - hedges, ditches, streamsides, damp woods


Fruit with very few druplets, densely pruinose, so often appearing blackish
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
RUBUS  FRUTICOSUS sensu lato

'Blackberry' (RUBUS 'FRUTICOSUS' sensu lato - a species aggregate)


The members of this aggregate, commonly treated as separate species, are bewilderingly numerous and difficult to determine. Best left to specialists.....
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
SYMPHYTUM

Probably 'Blue or Russian Comfrey' (SYMPHYTUM X UPLANDICUM)

This is the commonest SYMPHYTUM of roadsides, hedgebanks and woods but usually absent from the waterside habitats occupied by SYMPHYTUM OFFICINALE; understood to be a hybrid between 'Rough Comfrey' (S.ASPERUM) and 'Comfrey' (S.OFFICINALE)

Stem leaves slightly decurrent, stem narrowly winged; flowers usually blue or purplish-blue

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HUMULUS  LUPULUS

Hop (HUMULUS LUPULUS) - climbing over hedges and in damp thicket; leaves deeply 3-5-lobed


Female fruit a stalked cone-like spike (a hop)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris Chadwell photographing beside a hedgerow  (Photo: © Matthew Chadwell)

................................................................................................................

PRUNELLA  VULGARIS

'Self-Heal' (PRUNELLA VULGARIS)

--------------------------------------------------------------------

'Elder' (SAMBUCUS NIGRA)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
ACER  CAMPESTRE

Field Maple (ACER  CAMPESTRE)

Joseph Chadwell beside FIELD MAPLE
--------------------------------------------------------------------
VISCUM ALBUM

'Mistletoe' (Viscum album)

Common in Ditton Park, Langley - on several different tree species
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PENTAGLOTTIS SEMPERVIRENS

'Evergreen Alkanet' (PENTAGLOTTIS SEMPERVIRENS) in Swan Meadow, Iver


-----------------------------------------------------------------

MYRRHIS  ODORATA

 

 'Sweet Cicely' (MYRRHIS  ODORATA) in a hedgerow in County Durham
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
GALIUM  MOLLUGO

'Hedge Bedstraw' (GALIUM MOLLUGO)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 'Hybrid Campion' (SILENE DIOCA x ALBA)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
ARUM  MACULATUM

Fruiting spikes of 'Lords and Ladies' or 'Cuckoo Pint' (ARUM MACULATUM)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hedgerow in Buckinghamshire overgrown with bramble and field thistles

----------------------------------------------------------------------

TANACETUM VULGARE

'Tansy' (TANACETUM VULGARE) - strongly aromatic herb with stiffly erect stems



Dense heads of yellow tubular florets

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

DIGITALIS PURPUREA

'Foxgloves' (DIGITALIS PURPUREA) amongst bracken

Common in open places in woods

Pinkish-purple flowers with deeper spots on white ground inside lower part of tube

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

HERACLEUM  SPHONDYLIUM

'Hogweed or Cow Parsnip' (HERACLEUM  SPHONDYLIUM)


Umbels of suborbicular fruits

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

POPULUS ALBA

'White Poplar' (POPULUS ALBA) - introduced and much planted

----------------------------------------------------------------------

CRATAEGUS MONOGYNA

'Hawthorn' (CRATAEGUS MONOGYNA) - deep red fruit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
ACER  PSEUDOPLATANUS

'Sycamore' (ACER PSEUDOPLATANUS)

Fruits glabrous, wings spreading at an acute angle or incurved at apices; Druce found this common in hedges and woods a century ago

Leaf-blades 7-16cm and about as broad, 5-lobed to about half-way, cordate at base, dark green and glabrous above

Gaucescent and soon glabrous except in the axils of the veins beneath; lobes +/- ovate, acute, coarsely and irregularly crenate-serrate, often lobulated; petioles 10-20cm, often red

Young growth of foliage

Trunk - bark grey, smooth for a long time, finally scaly


Lichen on scaly bark - indicative of it being an old tree; this tree, a native of the mountains of C. and S. Europe, Asia and Caucasus, is understood to have been introduced in the 15th to 16th Century; first recorded in Buckinghamshire at Thame in 1844

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Comments