In winter the meadow is an expanse of short cropped grass, now in mid June the meadow is reaching it’s peak. Tall grasses and flowers grow besides the wide mown paths.
The best of those at present is hundreds of mauve flowered Pyramidal Orchids.
The yellow flowered Common Hawkweed is most conspicuous and can distract ones eye from the variety of other species present.
Yellow Rattle is very frequent, it parasitises herbaceous roots and where it thrives the grasses have weakened and thinned allowing more of the meadow perennials to make progress.
In a small patch i located a few spikes of Broomrape, another parasitic plant.
Wind Eyebright has found a niche in several patches.
A small umbellifer looked to me like Pignut, fitting the description for size and habitat.
Birds Foot trefoil comes in two main flavours varieties; Common and Greater, both forms were seen on the meadow. The Greater BFT has small flowers but distinctive limey green tall pea like foliage.
Also very frequent is Hop Trefoil, little clusters of yellow flowers appearing on flimsy stems with trifoilate leaflets.
White Clover takes its place among shorter grass where competition is easier, drawing Bumble and Honey bees to feed.
Melilot appears in occassional patches, small yellow flowers on long spikes.
I had hoped to see some Grass Vetchling flowers and at first was unable to find it. However on a second look it was found. Not as frequent as I have seen in a previous year. Im not sure what this might indicate.
When not in flower its very hard if not impossible to spot, as the stems closely resemble those of the grasses it grows beside.
These are just a few of the plants that are found on this meadow. I will comment on others in future postings.
No mention so far of butterflies, there are very few about at present but it was good to see a single Marbled White on the meadow at the lower end. More can be expected in the coming weeks.
The ocassional Common Blue has been seen and the Meadow Brown has begun to appear.