Monday, 23 September 2013

Coastal Walk, Aberystwyth to Borth

On a sunny Sunday at the end of August I decided to be active for once and walk along the cliffs to Borth. After Constitution Hill and the holiday atmosphere of Clarach I found a heap of waste from the caravan site with a nice assemblage of ruderal weeds. The most noticeable of which were a variety of large 'Chenopodiaceae'. Most of these turned out to be Chenopodium ficifolium mixed with C. rubrum, C. album and Atriplex patulaC. ficifolium is not a very common species in the west of Wales and I had previously only seen it once in the area, in municipal planters on the Aberystwyth promenade earlier this year. Those plants had been diligently weeded before they had a chance to mature so it was nice to see some fully grown specimens.    

Chenopodium ficifolium,
Clarach Bay, SN 58631 84392, August 2013

Chenopodium rubrum,
Clarach Bay, SN 58631 84392, August 2013

A little further on I scraped around on a parched area of short grass in the hope of finding Trifolium subterraneum. I quickly found a large number of recently germinated small Trifolium plants with small hairy leaves. I'm still not sure as to their identity as I'm unclear on the phenology of Tsubterraneum. Hopefully a revisit in a month or so should reveal their true identity. 

(Probable) Trifolium subterraneum,
Coastal hillside N. of Clarach Bay,
SN 58773 84733, August 2013

Returning to the coastal path large stands of Lathyrus sylvestris were showing their last few flowers and an abundance of chunky pods. This mostly coastal species is particularly fond of soft cliffs in the west. Also scrambling around on the cliffs were a few old plants of the invasive Lycium barbarum. This oriental species is the source of the goji berry a recent 'wonder food' craze.  

Lathyrus sylvestris,
Cliffs S. of Wallog,
SN 58917 85514, August 2013

Lycium barbarum,
Wallog, SN 59021 85720, August 2013

Arriving in Borth I had an hour or so before my train back to Aberystywth so spent a while peering into gardens and bits of waste ground along Borth's only street. Not much of note was apparent but a I took a final photo for the day of the small pallid flowers of Malva neglecta growing in someone's front garden.

Malva neglecta,
Borth Main Street, SN 60 89, August 2013 

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