27 March 2011

Little plants on Great Tor

Sea Stork's-bill rosette in full flower! Note also the
tiny rosette of tri-lobed leaves of Rue-leaved Saxifrage on the right  
Sea Stork's-bill (Erodium maritimum) is locally frequent on thin soils on exposed cliffs of South Gower. It's flowers are probably the least inspiring of any I have seen, with plants either having no petals or with petals hidden by the sepals. The plants most attractive attribute is that it does form quite nice rosettes 3-4cm across, often with an orangey fringe of older leaves.
petal-less flower in full bloom
in fruit, displaying the characteristic 'stork's-bill'
Another characteristic plant of this habitats is Rue-leaved Saxifrage (Saxifraga tridactylites) which is decorated with sticky glandular hairs.


Rob Ladds said...

Nice botany lesson for Gt Tor. Exquisite pic of the Saxifrage - a most delightful plant.
Is there any Moonwort still there, would love to find some?

Barry Stewart said...

Thanks Rob. Still getting to grips with our flora so don't know about the Moonwort. If you know about it's occurrence at this in the past I'd be pleased to hear about it and will certainly make a trip to look for again it when the time is right. Perhaps you could show me?

Rob said...

can't remember where i read it, but in a field trip report including pendine and the tor. maybe on the dunes beneath.Quentin says it was at Oxwich dunes.
It was prized for its magical properties by old herbalists and collected by night!

Paul Parsons said...

Excellent close ups Barry.

Barry Stewart said...

Re Moonwort : There appear to be no modern records on the system for this species anywhere in Gower since 1976, so definitely one to search for this year. If anyone knows of former sites I'd be most pleased to hear from you.