Today, I enjoyed a short stroll along the minor road that leads from Kidwelly towards the ancient coastal church of St Ishmael, walking from the office complex of Burns Pet Nutrition, past Coleman farm to the entrance of Glan yr Afon LNR. The main purpose was to take some quick photographs of plants that I`d noticed in flower the previous day.
Next to the Burns offices, German ivy Delairea odorata sprawls rampantly out from an adjacent garden. This species is naturalised in SW England and in late 2005 it was superabundant in the small nucleated, hill-top village of Llanybri near Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire. It was clearly well naturalised there, and growing away from gardens (one garden was actually choked with it, and this native of South Africa is very much a nuisance alien in some warmer countries). Fortunately here in Britain, it is mostly kept in check by cold winters and some recent Arctic-like winters certainly restrained it at Llanybri, though it survived at the base of some walls, as it did at Kidwelly. Nigel Stringer also tells me that he found it growing away from the Burns site a few years back, but the aforesaid cold winters put paid to it. I grow it in my garden, where it has shot up over the last couple of years (it was cut to the ground in the cold winters and barely survived), but I have not previously seen it in flower, until this year. The photos below show it growing at the Kidwelly site with a `close-up` (I`m not a good photographer!) of the flowers - you can see that it is related to Senecio (ragworts) and it was once put in that genus.
Also out in flower for the first time was greater periwinkle Vinca major. It grows quite commonly too at Ferryside, where it is joined by the smaller leaved lesser periwinkle Vinca minor and the considerably rarer Vinca difformis (`intermediate periwinkle` - a different species, rather than a hybrid). I`ve also once found the latter in Swansea, a strongly-growing plant dumped in a backlane in the Brynmill area that was sending its rooting shoots far and wide. All these Vincas are aliens.