Wildflowers of Short Cliff and inland
Short Cliff is the next cliff along from Hope Gap travelling East. If you head inland towards South Hill Barn you cross a large area of short grass which is managed by Sussex Wildlife trust using grazing. This area is bounded to the West by an area of scrub which separates it from Hope Bottom. You can see this explained in the SWT nature reserve map linked to in the previous post.
Flowers in short grass
Chalk grassland is a habitat which developed over millennia through grazing. The area inland from Short Cliff is exposed with shallow soil. I had my eye open for chalk grassland indicator species from the National Trust list which are labelled L as usual. But do please remember that this blog post is not a survey and there were more species present than photographed. Also the list itself is not comprehensive.
Eyebright – Euphrasia
These little Eyebrights love short grass and are also seen in the main image above, where the Seven Sisters cliffs can be seen behind. L
Perforate St Johns Wort – Hypericum perforatum
St Johns Wort with visible black dots on the petal edges.
Common Centaury – Centaurium erythraea
Selfheal – Prunella vulgaris
Carline Thistle – Carlina vulgaris
Alongside the Carline Thistle L in the image below showing the short grass can be just seen: Eyebrights, Bird’s Foot Trefoil L, Lesser Knapweed, Hawkbits, Ragwort and Selfheal.
Clustered Bellflower – Campanula glomerata
As you head away from the sea in the same field, the grass becomes longer.
Tufted Vetch – Vicia cracca
The Tufted Vetch added a eyecatching hint of blue to the tapestry.
Greater Knapweed – Centaurea scabiosa
Field Scabious – Knautia arvensis
Common Knapweed – Centaurea nigra
I also sometimes call it Lesser Knapweed.
Red clover – Trifolium pratense
I think that Red Clover is prettier the closer you look.
Germander Speedwell – Veronica chamaedrys
Vipers Bugloss – Echium vulgare
I spotted the white form of Vipers Bugloss by the side of the path heading back towards the barn.
Flowers West of the Barn
As you head West of South Hill Barn there is a patchwork of open spaces and scrub which borders the golf course.
Travellers Joy – Clematis vitalba
I have always called this Clematis Old Mans Beard after its fluffy seed heads.
Greater Stitchwort – Stellaria holostea
Wild Marjoram – Origanum vulgare
This Marjoram L was growing in a more open spot, near where I was counting Common Spotted Orchid and Twayblades earlier in the year.
Snowberry – Symphoricarpos albus
Heading back down past the golf course towards town I was back in amongst shrubbery again. These pink flowers and berries were on the same bush at the same time.
Black Horehound – Ballota nigra
I tend to find that Black Horehound is often scruffy looking and this one was no exception.
As my last plant was something of an anticlimax, here is a pretty blue butterfly to round off this post 🙂
I was back on Seaford Head a week later on a guided walk and found some more plants of interest.