Crown Vetch

Another day of survey, but who can complain when 'the office' is filled with wonderful wildflowers. 

Today I came across very large populations of two rare plant species  - Slender Tare and Wall Bedstraw, both Red List Vulnerable in the UK, as well as a small amount of Ragged-robin and three species of orchid. 

Finding a colony of Crown Vetch was more unexpected. A neophyte which originates from Central and Southern Europe, it was introduced into gardens by 1597 but not recorded from the wild until 1843. It often forms short-lived populations, and has a scattered distribution in the UK.

However, possibly the greatest surprise was finding a huge Orange-ball-tree on a road verge some way from habitation. It was first introduced to the United Kingdom from Chile in 1774, and is now commonly grown as an ornamental and landscape shrub in temperate regions. It is not invasive owing to its wingless seeds and was attracting many bumblebees and a solitary Red Admiral to its nectar-rich flowers.

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