Each year, the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) run a New Year’s Plant Hunt where they invite people to record as many species in flower as they can in the New Year – between 1st and 4th January.
We were staying in Exeter over New Year’s and I nipped out for an hour in the morning to see how many I could count around Exeter St David’s. My initial count was 22 but I excluded daffodil as it was clearly part of a planted display and therefore not valid within the rules of the Hunt.
Daisy (Bellis perennis) and ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) seemed the most consistently flowering species – the former in all of the mown lawns and the latter in walls and crevices including the ruins/remains of Exeter castle.
The 21 species included a mix of winter flowering species – such as winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans) – spring flowering species – such as primrose (Primula vulgaris), snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) and lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) – and long flowering species – such as daisy, dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) and yarrow (Achillia millifolium).
The early morning light and overcast, breezy weather was not condusive to good photographs but I’ve put together a montage of the species below.
Four days seemed a good opportunity to do four searches – write-ups of three further searches from Bristol, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire to follow!
The full species list is provided below:
Daisy (Bellis perennis)
Hedge mustard (Sisymbrium officinale)
Annual meadow grass (Poa annua)
Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)
Cock’s foot (Dactylis glomerata)
Winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans)
Primrose (Primula vulgaris)
Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)
Petty spurge (Euphorbia peplus)
Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)
Ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis)
Nipplewort (Lapsana communis)
Prickly sow-thistle (Sonchus asper)
Canadian fleabane (Conyza canadensis)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)
Water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.)
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
Oxford ragwort (Senecio squalidus)
Smooth sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)