26th April 2022

Fifteen members, including three new ones, met at the Cavendish Pavilion for our first outdoor botany meeting of the year. It was a fine, calm morning with a nip in the air out of the sun.

We began our walk along the main track into the Strid Wood.

Dog’s Mercury

Looking carefully at Dog’s Mercury Mercurialis perennis, a carpeting perennial, reminded us of the separate plants with stamens on one and styles on the other. The globular seed heads were forming on the female plants. Lesser Celandines Ficaria verna were well in flower with Ramsons Allium ursinum still mainly in bud


Wood anemone

A stunning haze of Bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scriptus intermingled with the white, sometimes pink, of Wood Anemones Anemone nemorosa left us all in wonder at the sheer beauty of the scene as they stretched high up onto the hillside above us.

Barren Strawberry Potentilla sterilis with gaps between the slightly notched petals was examined. We later on in the day saw Wild Strawberry Fragaria vesca with no gaps between the five unnotched petals.

Barren Strawberry

Common Dog Violet Viola riviniara with it’s white, notched spur as well as Early Dog Violet Viola reichenbachiana with it’s unnotched violet spur were compared.

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage Chrysoplenium oppostifolium was growing in damper areas. This is an attractive plant.

Lunch was taken by the river with Toothwort Lathraea squamaria growing near the footpath. It’s a parasitic plant usually growing near Hazel trees. It has no green pigment and scales instead of leaves.


We returned by the lower path seeing Goldilocks Buttercup Ranunculus auricomus, growing near the water’s edge. Several members found a patch of Herb Paris Paris quadrifolia, our society’s emblem, and several Few-flowered Leeks Allium paradoxum were growing near the base of the steps.

Herb Paris

On reaching the Cavendish Pavilion six members crossed the bridge turning left to see Thyme- leaved Speedwell Veronica serpyllifolia, Milkmaids (Cuckoo Flower or Mayflower) Cardamine pratensis in the field. Unfortunately several invasive Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera seedlings were noted by the water’s edge. Other plants included Sanicle Sanicula europaea and Woodruff Galium odoratum.


It was delightful to hear birdsong accompanying us during our outing especially a very melodious Song Thrush and Spring migrants including Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap along with Sandpipers newly returned to the river.

Pam Rutherford

Photos Christine Bell except Toothwort Pam Rutherford and

Herb Paris Jo Prowse