I thought members might be interested to know that there is lots of viper’s bugloss growing and flowering at Fitzwilliam, where the City used to be, behind the remaining row of houses. Rubble from the demolished houses is now overgrown but it is still there and it must be quite alkaline because of the mortar. I saw musk thistle in flower there last year. These aren’t plants that I expect to see in Fitzwilliam. How do the seeds get there?
On a walk around Brockodale YWT reserve today, Colin Booker came across this fine example of stinking helibore (Helleborus foetidus), a local speciality plant which gets it’s name from the unpleasant odour given off when its leaves are crushed. Colin has supplied a really nice shot of the rare flower taken from a lovely low viewpoint to give us a good view of the typically drooped flower heads. He also noted 4 corn buntings at the reserve, now very scarce in the Wakefield district.
Stinking helibore (Helleborus foetidus) at Brockodale
Another member, Francis Hickenbottom, sent in a field record of green helibore on a railway embankment in Hemsworth though this species is most definitely a garden escape