Last weekend I enjoyed another full day’s walk with the Glamorgan Botany Group in the hills and vales above Brynna, in south Wales, and, though I am the first to admit that I came home with more photos of insects than plants, I am learning. It’s just that, for someone who wasn’t brought up in Britain and so didn’t learn from an early age the names of even the most common wildflowers, there’s a huge amount to take in.
So, what have I learnt? I can now tell the difference between Common vetch (Vicia sativa), on the left, and Bush vetch (Vicia sepium), on the right below.
I know this is Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) because the first joints of the leaves (which form a skirt around the stem when you break them off) are longer than the stem section (the little dark v-shaped marks on the stem in this photo).
Though the two species are very similar, I know this is not Red clover (Trifolium pratense) but rather Zigzag clover (Trifolium medium) partly because the white marks on its leaves are not as obvious but, most definitively, because at the widest part of the leaf the veins meet the edge at a 90 degree angle.
I know that the plant on the left is Mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella) and that beautiful flower on the right is my very first Welsh poppy (Meconopsis cambrica) growing in the wild!