- Town-hall Clock Adoxa moschatellina
On the first of May 2013 we had the first session of the annual botanical survey in the wood. As usual we were supervised by a member of the Worthing Botanical Recording Society; without whose help the survey would not be possible.
As with garden plants the season is delayed due to the prolonged cold weather at the end of winter and into the spring. By this time of year we would expect to be reveling in the sight and smell of a bluebell wood in all its splendour. Not so this year. Indeed we delayed the start of the survey by a month, because there was very little evidence of any regrowth in the wood.
Despite the hold-up we enjoyed a great morning in the wood. The Town-hall Clock (Adoxa moschatellina) is particularly well represented this year. There is a clump on the left just inside the Sands Lane gate. This diminutive little plant is a favourite of mine. So easily overlooked and yet resilient and delicate at the same time.
- Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa)
If you are looking for spectacle at at this time you would be hard pushed to beat the Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa). They are growing in thick drifts, covering the ground in some places. They only open on bright days, but when they do they lift the heart for their sheer brilliance. There are a few early bluebells out to enhance the Anemones, but their time is still to come. The Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria nemorum) is also starting to make an appearance. hopefully some will hold back until the bluebells catch up, because the two plants complement each other beautifully.
- Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)
Almost as abundant as the Anemones in parts of the wood are the Lesser Celandines. They tend to clump in selected areas. Many people mistake them for the meadow buttercup when they see them in the wood, but they are very different on closer inspection. We did not see any field buttercups on our walk today, but we did find some Goldilocks Buttercup (Ranunculus auricomus), which is always a pleasing find.
There were a few Early Purple Orchids (Orchis mascula) starting to break through, but they will be a few more weeks before they are at their best.
- Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana)
To add a touch of blue to the picture we found small clumps of Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) throughout the survey area. It is well worth getting down on hands-and-knees to look into the throat of these tiny flowers. the magnificent, delicate structures at the heart of these blooms is well worth the strain on aching joints. (At least I think it is).
Further surveys will take place during the season.
Please come to the wood to enjoy the wonderful floral display, but please keep to the paths, and do not pick or dig up any of the plants.