Summer evening walk with many wildflowers
I went for an evening walk after being recommended a visit to Cradle Valley on the outskirts of Seaford. I was particularly looking for Burnt orchids but came across many beautiful flowers including three more orchids: Fragrant orchid, Common Spotted orchids and Pyramidal orchids. Other highlights were finding many of the flowers listed as chalk grassland indicator species, and these are marked with an L below.
Barley Field at High and Over
My walk started at High and Over carpark and I headed down towards Cradle Valley via a barley field.
Barley – Hordeum vulgare
I still haven’t got my head around these field weeds, so do let me know if you can help!
Cradle Valley flowers
Common Restharrow – Ononis repens
Restharrow was the first plant I spotted on this walk from the species list I mentioned. L
Black medick – Medicago lupulina
Black medick can be differentiated from similar wildflowers by its mucronate leaf tip. This just means that there is a little needle point visible on the end of some of the leaves.
Greater Knapweed – Centaurea scabiosa
Eyebright – Euphrasia
The list also had Eyebright. L
Yellow Rattle – Rhinanthus Minor
The Rattle was easily identified by the sound of the seedpods.
Selfheal – Prunella vulgaris
Round-headed Rampion – Phyteuma orbiculare
This beautiful flower is also known as Pride of Sussex.
Kidney vetch – Anthyllis vulneraria
Also on the list: Kidney vetch. L
Field Scabious – Knautia arvensis
Pyramidal orchid – Anacamptis pyramidalis
Orchids in general are on the list. L
Burnt orchid – Orchis ustulata
My reason for this walk! [The following year I returned to help count these orchids].
Common fragrant orchid – Gymnadenia conopsea
Common spotted orchid – Dactylorhiza fuchsii
Bladder campion – Silene vulgaris
Campions in long grass.
Lady’s Bedstraw – Galium verum
Viper’s Bugloss – Echium vulgare
Fab blue flower, here mixed in with Greater Knapweed and Agrimony.
Agrimony – Agrimonia eupatoria
Yellow flower spikes of Agrimony in amongst the meadow flowers.
Dropwort – Filipendula ulmaria
This flower was in short grass. L
Squinancywort – Asperula cynanchica
Also in short grass. L
Yellow-wort flowers – Blackstonia perfoliata
I was pleased to find this flower because it was on the list but, along with the Kidney vetch, it was not seen at Crowlink. It was growing in short grass. L
Flowering in the Last Wood and fields behind
Phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia (a green manure) and Oilseed Rape Brassica napus from previous crops were growing side by side in this wide field margin. I think the actual crop was Wheat Triticum (just seen at rear).
Black Horehound – Ballota nigra
Chalk Grassland Indicator Species
So altogether I counted ten plants from the list, marked L, on my walk.
Read more about Chalk Grasslands from the Wildlife Trusts.
Related posts: This year was great for Orchids