Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Large Bittercress

I was relieved to see that the colony of Cardamine amara (Large Bittercress) in Bluebell Wood is doing well this year, as I hadn't recorded it for the past few years. This is a rare species in both Northamptonshire (VC32) and South Lincolnshire (VC53), and in the latter vice-county it is most frequent in TF00, with a number of records for the Stamford area, although most are quite old. It was most recently recorded in 2012 from Uffington Park, and there are also older records from Greatford, Thurlby Fen and Stoke Rochford. When flowering, it's easy to identify - the blackish-purple anthers and white petals distinguish it from C.pratensis. It is much more restricted to streamsides, marshes and flushes - at Bluebell Wood it only grows in one small seepage area, among Iris pseudacorus.

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