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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Canal Plants

Close to Tenterfields in the canal are stands of Reed Sweet-grass
which are also home to a variety of other plants.

Reed Sweet-grass (Glyceria Maxima)
Glyceria refers to the sweet tasting grains

A tall grass with a large inflorescence

Standing tall in the grass is Great (or Hairy) Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum)

Large flowers with four notched petals and four lobed stigma

There is also plenty of Himalayan Balsmam (Impatiens glandulifera)
So called because the pod can't wait to shoot its seed.
We've all seen enough of that.
Hidden among it there is some Gipsywort (Lycopus europaeus)

Branched with distinctive jagged leaves and flowers in whorls

Also making it above the bank is Skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)

With its pairs of trumpet like flowers

Further away from the bank you can see
Whorled Mint (Mentha arvensis x aquatica = M. x verticillata)
a hybrid of Water and Corn Mint

Differing from Water Mint in the lack of a terminal inflorescence
and having long pointed calyx teeth

A few Marsh Woundwort (Stachys palustris) line the bank
Stachys refers to the spike of flowers
Palustris the water loving habit

Differing from Hedge Woundwort by its long narrow leaves
and paler pink/purple flowers

Creeping among these other plants
Bittersweet or Woody Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

 With its purple and yellow flowers and red berries

Growing right at the base is Water Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides)
Scorpioides refers to the coiled shape of the flowering stem
Like a scorpion's tail

Calyx tube divided less than halfway

And on the other side of the canal a Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
practises yoga balancing techniques

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