Thursday 14 April 2022

Alpines and a plant for Easter: April report from BSBI President Lynne Farrell

Last month saw BSBI President Lynne Farrell looking for signs of Spring up in Cumbria, where she is based. 

So, has it warmed up yet? 

Over to Lynne:

"It has been very cold and windy up here recently so I am focusing on plants photographed in the shelter of the garden and at the local Alpine Garden Society Spring show, which displayed plants of different colour, shape and form. 

"I know these are not native British species, but it might give you ideas on how to grow alpines in various pots. Most people will be able to find a brick and so could create their own miniature garden, and these examples (on the right and at the foot of the page) show you what can be achieved when you become more adept at construction and putting the right plant in the right pot.

"As it is Eastertime, I’ve also included a Pasque Flower, Pulsatilla rubra, from my garden (on left). In the next few weeks our native P. vulgaris will be in full bloom on the chalk in SE England or oolite in Gloucestershire, with one site on magnesian limestone in the north. 

"Take a look at this BSBI distribution map which shows where the plant has been recorded by our volunteer members over the years. 

P. vulgaris at Knocking Hoe
Image: K. Walker 
"One of the best places to see P. vulgaris is at Therfield Heath/Castle Hill on the Cambs/Herts border, where you can walk along the Icknield Way before heading up the steep slope to see the purple flowerheads and finely divided, silky-hairy leaves. 

"Its stronghold is in France, but I’ve never been early enough to see it in bloom there.

"A detailed account of this and other grassland species features in Grassland plants of the British and Irish lowlands (BSBI 2019) co-authored by the BSBI Science Team Kevin Walker and Pete Stroh, together with several BSBI members who have studied grasslands for many years. This book is well-illustrated and recommended. 

"There are alpine Pulsatilla species too, which can be seen growing in species-rich meadows on the continent". 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment!