Warrington Plant Group at Gemini East

It may seem strange to hold a botanical meeting on the edge of a business park, but this is a diverse 1km square with woodland, grassland and river and we found 161 species of vascular plant in our day’s excursion without even covering the whole square.  Might even be better than the adjacent square which we covered last year!  Unfortunately it was raining, which cramped our style a bit, but four hardy botanists turned out anyway to explore what the square had to offer.Surprises included flowering-rush, probably introduced in a fishing pond and some pendulous sedge which was doing its best to convince us it was another species until we realised the reason the spikes looked odd is that it was infertile.

We also saw all three commonly planted species of alder which proved a useful revision, plus all four common Asplenium species on the bridge over the railway.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, the square was rich in dock species with six types recorded.  As is typical for this area, there were plenty of vetches around including my favourites hairy tare and smooth tare.  Smooth tare isn’t listed on the main recording card for Cheshire but it does seem common around Warrington.

Plant of the day for me was marsh woundwort.  Not quite as stinky as its sister hedge woundwort, but still intriguingly foetid:

2016-07-10 15.02.50 (800x450)

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