First Week Hunt 2009 - March 2nd Anglesey North Wales

Petasites fragrans Primula vulgaris Ranunculus ficaria

The Petasites fragrans (Winter Heliotrope - above left photo) was in flower which in past years has not always been the case as it often begins in December and in mild winters is virtually finished by March. The exceptionally harsh winter made sure that some plants such as Silene dioica (Red Campion) could not leave a dormant flowering stem ready for early spring. That does not apply to Primula vulgaris (Primrose - above middle photo) which can often be found in full flower here and there in February. This plant showed no signs of frost stress. Another plant which ignores the early cold is Ranunculus ficaria (Lesser Celandine - above right photo) and sure enough there were several beginning to show. But should we now call Lesser CelandineFicaria verna??

Cardamine vulgaris Cochlearia danica Smyrnium olusatrum

The Cardamine hirsuta (Hairy Bittercress - above left photo) is a winter weed and will flower whatever the month but it can easily be confused with Cardamine flexuosa. I was convinced this was C. flexuosa from the jiz of the plant but to make sure I counted the stamens.

I was Wrong! There were only four which makes it C. hirsuta. Near the shore a single flower of Cochlearia danica (Danish Scurvygrass) was showing and a single stem of Smyrnium olusatrum (Alexanders) had just started to show its yellow flowers.

Anthriscus sylvestris Trachystemon orientalis Bellis perennis

A fully developed Anthriscus sylvestris (Cow parsley - above left photo) was quite a surprise as these often look quite forlorn when the frost has been so prevalent. Bellis perennis (Daisy above right photo) was no surprise as this is another persistent winter weed. Near the site for Trachystemon orientalis (Abraham Isaac and Jacob - above middle photo) which has been known here at Moel y Don for over 25 years, there were the dreaded "Men at Work signs" in the road and it looked as though they might be digging the plant up. Fortunately it was untouched.

Vinca major Teesdalia nudicaulis whole Teesdalia nudicaulis flower

The Vinca major (Greater Periwinkle - above left photo) undoubtedly started in a nearby garden but has not only escaped but makes a little more progress into the wild each year. There is no doubt about wild habitat of the Teesdalia nudicaulis (Shepherd's-cress -above middle and right photos) in Newborough Forest which is not only bang on time but some plants, like the one above, have virtually finished flowering and are well into seed. This Spring ephemeral will be gone without trace by May.

Erophila verna Ulex europeaus Mibora minima

The tiny Erophila verna (Common Whitlowgrass above left photo) was quite near the Teesdalia nudicaulis and at first I thought they were one and the same plant. Ulex europaeus (Gorse) flowers throughout the winter but is beginning to brighten up the verges with huge splashes of yellow. Last and certainly least for this excursion to North Wales was the rare and very small Mibora minima (Early Sand-grass above right photo) which I cannot see when standing up so small are the flowers. This one was no more than 1 or 2 cm tall growing in the dunes of Aberfraw.

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