British wildflowers, Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, Dove's-foot crane's-bill, Geranium molle, white flowers, white-flowered Dove's-foot crane's-bill
The flowers of Dove’s-foot crane’s-bill (Geranium molle) are usually described as pinkish-purple, and certainly all the plants I’ve seen previously have had tiny pink flowers, as shown in the comparison photos below. But I’ve discovered a small area at the Cosmeston Lakes Country Park where the flowers are a true white.
I’m not sure what has caused this colour variation but it’s probably something in the soil. Before it became a country park, parts of Cosmeston were quarries, spoil tips and rubbish tips. If you follow this link to the Mary Gillham Archive website (a project I volunteered on, as my older followers will recall), you can see details – including maps and photographs – of Cosmeston during its transformation into a country park.
One legacy of its former use is undoubtedly the presence of toxic chemicals in some areas. Indeed, the top portion of the east paddock is fenced off, not for conservation purposes but, I am reliably informed, to protect park users from whatever is buried there. Residues in the soil may well account for unusual qualities in the park’s flora and fauna.
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