Sunday, 16 June 2019

A few plants from Worms Head

Greater knapweed Centaurea scabiosa was one of a number of beautiful plants in flower on the limestone cliffs near Worms Head on the Gower Peninsula today. Most of the plants were understandably limestone loving species but there was an unexpected surprise.

Greater knapweed and navalwort Umbilicus rupestris growing together on limestone rock. On the face of it this shouldn't be, because navalwort is a plant of acid soils whereas greater knapweed is a limestone lover. However I guess that decaying plant and animal material gets into the crevices between the limestone and helps create little pockets of acidic soil and allows this type of unusual pairing to occur.

Navalwort is usually a species I see growing along rocky roadsides in North Wales, often under hedges.

Greater knapweed. Impressive though the flowers are, I think that the dark grey and black globular unopened buds are just as eye catching!

Sheep's-bit Jasione montana.

Looking towards Worm's Head.

Carpets of common rockrose Helianthemum nummularium adorn the cliffs, this is another exclusively lime loving species.

Common rockrose.

Rhossilli Bay,

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