08 September 2012

English Stonecrop in Cymmer

I first saw English Stonecrop (Sedum anglicum) in Cymmer in the 1970s when Quentin Kay and I were recording for the Flora of Glamorgan project. I'm glad to say that it's still there. This is an uncommon plant in Glamorgan with few recent records, so its survival in the Afan Valley is encouraging. It has a classic western Oceanic distribution in Britain and is widely distributed in west Wales. The area in which it grows in Cymmer also has abundant Bell Heather (Erica cinerea), another Oceanic species, indicating the biogeographic suitability of the area. The alien White Stonecrop (Sedum album) is a similar species and is much more common than English Stonecrop in Glamorgan.The leaves of White Stonecrop are bigger and rather chunky in comparison to those of English Stonecrop and its inflorescence is much more branched with abundant white flowers. Reflexed Stonecrop (Sedum rupestre) is another fairly common white-flowered, alien, garden escape species, but it is more robust than both English and White Stonecrop.

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