Saturday, 13 June 2020

Further county resurrections

This is a brief post to share some recent exciting finds of weeds in Oxfordshire. First, Anna Dudley contacted me to tell me about a population of Descurainia sophia (flixweed) that she had found at the M40 services at Waterstock. This plant was last recorded in the county in 2005 and it has always been very rare, really only a casual with us. It is a relatively common arable weed in East Anglia. If you'd like to see it, you will find it in a flower bed at SP62500478.

Surely the find of the season is Oli Pescott's discovery of a large population of Torilis arvensis (spreading hedge parsley) growing in a fallow field in Crowmarsh Gifford. This is an endangered and nationally scarce plant that had been thought to be extinct in Oxfordshire. The field is conveniently located by a footpath that passes a large number of plants at SU6171089298. The field is doubly worth a visit as there is an astonishing display of Centaurea cyanus (cornflower), another endangered arable weed, and very rare now except as an introduction. There is also Euphorbia exigua (dwarf spurge) and Filago vulgaris (common cudweed). Sadly the field is earmarked for development.

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