We visited a variety of different habitats in the Cheddar area
We stayed at a campsite which was in walking distance of Cheddar village and the limestone gorge itself. It was the end of May and the weather was lovely for the most part.
On the way into the village we travelled along sheltered footpaths with many stone walls.
Navelwort – Umbilicus rupestris
Navelwort is also known as Wall Pennywort because it grows in walls and the leaves are large and round like pre-decimal pennies. There is often a profusion of pale yellow flowers. In the photo below the Pennywort is in bud and the leaves have turned an attractive shade of red. I generally find this is due to stress from too much sun.
Common Broomrape – Orobanche minor
This plant lacks chlorophyll for photosynthesis so is parasitic on other plants nearby. I’m labelling this one Common Broomrape Orobanche minor because I didn’t see any orange stigmas associated with Ivy Broomrape Orobanche hederae. Apparently either can parasitize ivy though (seen in background of image).
Above Cheddar Gorge
I had broken my ankle in January but this didn’t stop my lovely husband Mike (that’s him in the main image) dragging me up to the top of the gorge along paths marked “Steep”, “Challenging” and “Strenuous”. I will forgive him one day as the views were fab.
Cheddar Pink – Dianthus gratianopolitanus
Yes I know this isn’t a great photo but the whole point about Cheddar Pinks is the only ones left are inaccessible! I viewed these with my binoculars and can confirm they had the flower shape and stem structure you’d expect from a Dianthus.
Salad Burnet – Sanguisorba minor ssp minor
This is what comes of sitting on the grass to eat your sandwiches – you get to look up close at common species. The little flowers look to me like a tiny cluster of exotic hibiscus. The flowers are familiar to me as Salad Burnet likes chalk and we find them a lot on the South Downs where I live.
Common rock-rose – Helianthemum nummularium
A little yellow beauty.
At the bottom of the Gorge
Of course it was shadier, damper and more sheltered at the bottom of the gorge.
Maidenhair Spleenwort fern – Asplenium trichomanes
Rusty Back Fern – Asplenium ceterach
I think this is a Rusty Back fern which is also seen in the area.
Welsh Poppy – Papaver cambricum
I’m fond of this plant as my mum used to grow it. I knew it then as Meconopsis cambrica. I don’t know if these plants would be a native or garden escapees.
Common Valerian – Valeriana officinalis
I had to look this one up, only being familiar with Red Valerian Centranthus Ruber, which is very common on the South Coast.
We had a lovely weekend and spent some time in nearby Wells where we visited the Bishop’s Palace – the garden there was fab.