21 April 2013

Roadside Scurvygrass

The white 'fuzz' visible in the central reservation of motorways and other dual carriageways at this time of year is Danish Scurvygrass (Cochlearia danica). It thrives on the verges of these heavily salted roads as its adaptations for surviving in drought-prone soils within the spray-zone of coastal habitats enable it to tolerate the similarly harsh environment of the motorway central reservation.
In additional to the species' natural coastal preference, the distribution maps shows the close association with Glamorgan's major roads, namely the M4 and the southern part of the A465. No doubt it will continue to thrive so long as our roads are salted, but whether or not it has reached its maximum potential remains to be seen.
[Yesterday 30th April happened to drive a short section of the A470 and added a few more records - it will be interesting to see how far up this road it extends?]

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