Archive for the ‘Street plants’ Category

One of my favourite mosses towards sunset – Pohlia nutans – nodding thread-moss or copperwire moss

I used to wander the streets of Canton in Cardiff quite often, taking pictures of the street plants, but it has been some years now (see previous posts here). The current Covid-19 lockdown has revived my interest as I am now able to leave the house only rarely, for some exercise.

The majority of the pictures here were taken on a walk to the post office and the great thing about it was that there were so few people out and about that most of the time I was alone with the plants… (more…)

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Strangely yellow Buddleia davidii leaves among stonecrop (possibly Sedum acre) beside the Wharf

I am thoroughly enjoying my lunchtime explorations of a new habitat this year – the Wharf (the old East Bute Dock) next to Cardiff’s County Hall in the Bay. As spring arrives there are so many little wild plants coming to life on the stone and concrete surfaces around the water, making do with whatever nutrients there are in hollows and cracks (or nooks and crannies, if you prefer the cliché). In some ways these little beauties remind me of those found in an alpine habitat. (more…)

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Beautiful seeds of Buddleia on the edge of the Wharf in Cardiff Bay

I have now discovered that I can walk all the way around the old East Bute Dock that runs alongside my new workplace at Cardiff’s County Hall. And I now know what everyone calls this rectangular pool of water – the Wharf. I had been calling it the dock or the pond or the lake, none of which seemed to be accurate.

It takes me half an hour to walk all the way around – or an hour if I take my camera with me. Last week I spent my lunch-hour there and took more than 100 pictures. So I won’t dump them all on you at once. Firstly, and particularly for Lucy Corrander, I will focus on what would be “street plants” if this were a street. Some are totally wild and native, some are urban escapees. (more…)

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The magnificent blotched leaves of Persicaria maculosa, which I have always known by its old Linnaean name of Polygonum persicaria

In the absence of any other ideas, I felt it was time to have a look again at street plants (weeds, some might say). With all the rain recently it has been a good year for the pavement greenery. Here are a few examples from just one main road near my Cardiff home. (more…)

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Yarrow or milfoil (Achillea millefolium) in the office car park, June 2016

For a few months now I have been working three days a week in an unprepossessing low-rise office on a small industrial estate in Newport, South East Wales, about 10 miles down the road from Cardiff.

I don’t go out much, as the weather has been wet and there isn’t a lot to see apart from corner shops, but the other day I found myself wandering around the car park in the sunshine, while on my mobile phone to someone. And I suddenly realised that the scruffy edges of the car park are full of wonderful wild flowers. (more…)

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Maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)

I have been out foraging for a bunch of midwinter street greens for Hollis, who has taken over the bimonthly street plant roundup from Lucy at Loose and Leafy.
Hollis’ main blog is In the Company of Plants and Rocks but she has a special place for urban plants here.

I had been looking off and on for a while, but in the end, on Christmas Eve, I decided to concentrate on the plants that grow on the best wall I know, outside the Chapter Arts Centre here in Cardiff. The centre is housed in the old Cantonian High School, which was built of lovely red bricks in 1905. (more…)

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This street plant is springing up all over Cardiff

I like to see a street plant that’s new to me and this one has been springing up all over the pavements in Cardiff this summer. I think I know what it is but do you want to have a go at naming it before I tell you? (more…)

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Street plants in summer


Bee on some sort of brassica flower beside the street, July 2015

In a normal summer I would expect the street plants of Cardiff to be shrivelled and brown, but we have had so much rain this July and August that the pavements abound with lush greenery. Here are some of my favourite sightings… (more…)

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Bumble bee (possibly Bombus hypnorum) on what I thought was wall lettuce (Lactuca muralis), June 2015 – but thank you to John Brush, who pointed out in June 2020 that this is actually common nipplewort (Lapsana communis)!

Thanks to Lucy Corrander’s street plants project I am making more of an effort to notice and identify the weedy plants I pass on the pavement every day.

Now at last I think I can name a couple more of the dandelion-like yellow-flowered plants that (more…)

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Pink valerian (Centranthus ruber) growing on a street wall in Cardiff last week

There is red valerian in flower everywhere in Cardiff at the moment, growing from walls and flat roofs where it wasn’t planted. I always notice this stout plant, as it was one of the first I could put a name to. It grew on the lean-to shed outside the back door of the cottage where I lived as a child. I don’t remember (more…)

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