Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Time now for a few pictures of plants I've seen while going about my daily business in and around Aberystwyth. Firstly an alien that I originally noticed this spring. Tall with linear leaves it was scattered around a car park near the railway station. When it came into flower and was immediately recognisable as Narrow-leaved Ragwort, Senecio inaequidens. This species originates in South Africa and is thought to have arrived in Europe as a hitch-hiker in soil on military equipment during the Second World War (1). It is now spreading in the UK seemingly associated with railways with the only  previous Cardiganshire record from the Borth area. It seems well established in the car park where this picture was taken but must have only arrived last year and may well spread through the town over years to come.         

Senecio inaequidens, Aberystwyth,
SN 58561 81570, June 2013 

Aberystwyth Castle sits on a small promontory at the centre of the Aberystwyth seafront. The crumbling walls are covered in flowers including Spergularia rupicola and Ononis repens but the most interesting plant is in my opinion is Asplenium marinum. Usually a species of natural sea-cliff crevices this is the only site where I have seen it growing on mortared walls.  

Asplenium marinum, Aberystwyth Castle,
June 2013 

On gravelly ground inside the castle walls Trifolium scabrum grows in abundance. This species is one of the more local clovers growing mainly on dry, rocky ground near the sea in the south of the British Isles.

Trifolium scabrum, Aberystwyth Castle,
June 2013 

Back again to the carpark near the station. I had been keeping an eye on a single large grass plant growing in  a municipal bed along with a few plants of Senecio inaequidens. A few weeks ago it began flowering revealing itself to be the relatively common casual Echinochloa crus-galli.

Echinochloa crus-galli, Aberystwyth,
 SN 58590 81637, Sept 2013

(1) - European Commission. (2004). Alien species and nature conservation in the EU. The role of the LIFE program. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.

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