This week I decided to have a go at the wildflower hour challenge to find the six brassica species that have small white flowers. Yesterday, when I wrote the first draft of this post, I had managed to locate five of them. During today’s walk, most unexpectedly, I found the sixth. You can find a pdf of the list, with photos and tips on how to identify each species, on dropbox (courtesy of the lovely botanist Dinky Moira).
On the left above is Hairy bitter-cress (Cardamine hirsuta), whose flowers have four stamens and whose seed pods stand straight up, and on the right is Wavy bitter-cress (Cardamine flexuosa), with its six stamens and ‘sticky-out seed pods’ (Moira’s very apt description).
Common whitlowgrass (Erophila verna) seems to be everywhere at the moment, in particular alongside paths and at the edges of back lanes. It’s tiny but worth bending over for a look.
Shepherd’s-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoralis) is so named because of the shape of its seed pods, though, personally, I think they look like tiny hearts. Shepherd’s-heart anyone?
Thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) is a new plant for me so I was very chuffed to find this one. It’s rather like Shepherd’s purse but has slender rod-shaped seedpods.
And this is today’s find: Danish scurvygrass (Cochlearia danica), which I had seen before in Cardiff, alongside the River Taff near the city centre, but I hadn’t ventured that far during yesterday’s walk. Today, I found it on the edge of a pavement near Cardiff Bay, just one plant, but one is all I needed to complete this challenge.
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