The first picture of the bench area at Great Elm shows that the drought is holding back the summer wildflowers. The ox-eyed daisies have been slow to flower here as the bank area is very dry.
The ones on the By Pass have been flowering for weeks. The Guider Rose is found on top of the embankment and is a plant fit for any garden. The gravel path at the top currently contains Rosebay Willow Herb which attracts many bees and the small Tortoiseshell butterflies.
The Pyramidal Orchid has also been found in similar numbers and location despite the drought.
The special plants featured this month are ones whose names end in ‘wort’ and as there are over 400. They were bound to get a mention eventually. A word with the suffix wort is is very old English for the word wyrt. It was often used in the names of herbs or plants that had medicinal uses. The first part of the word denoting the complaint it might remedy. Some of these plants had real medical properties but others may just resemble an organ in the body. The plants shown are Hedge Woundwort and St John’s Wort (at Great Elm) and Wood Stitchwort (at Asham Woods). A yellow pimpernel was found in Asham Wood (great name but not shown as out of focus).
At the start of the cycle path a number of Meadow Vetchling are to be found (pea family). This is a perennial plant so should be there in future years. When grass areas are scythed in the autumn this opens it up for for fresh seed and it is quite surprising what plants come and go every year.