A collection of wildlife photographs

Friday, 9 January 2015

A walk through the woods beside the River Rivelin

On a trip to the Rivelin valley last March, I saw several Umbellifers and ferns, along with some other plants. The path ran from Rivelin park along the edge of the river. Two umbellifers caught my eye from the edge of  track. The first comprised Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris. It looks similar to two other umbellifers, Rough Chervil Chaerophyllum temulum and  Upright Hedge Parsley Torilis japonica. However Cow Parsley flowers throughout most of May, whereas Rough Chervil  flowers from May to July and Upright Hedge Parsley flowers from July until September (Mabey, 1996).
Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris
The second umbellifer that I came across was Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium. The picture below shows the 3-pinnate leaves of Hogweed, growing alongside the glossy arrow shaped leaves of Lords and Ladies Arum maculatum.
Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium amidst Lords and ladies Arum maculatum 
In the weeks leading up to the walk, I had been noticing Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria growing abundantly on many types of habitats, from woodlands, to riverbanks, to roadsides. Their leaves are cordate with delicate yellow flowers. The picture at the top was taken in early March, but at this time of the year, all the flowers have bloomed. Also beside the river I saw Wavy Bittercress Cardamine flexuosa.
Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria 
Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria 
Wavy Bittercress Cardamine flexuosa

Then I noticed three ferns growing at the edge of the woodland, shown in the photographs below.
The sori of Male fern Dryopteris filix-mas
Male fern Dryopteris filix-mas
Hart's Tongue Fern Asplenium scolopendrium
Broad Buckler-fern Dryopteris dilatata

Hart's Tongue Fern Asplenium scolopendrium is often seen growing on walls, yet here it is found in the damp woodland soil. This distinctuve fern is shown above. Additionally, in this woodland understorey grew Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage Chrysosplenium oppositifolium as shown in the photograph below.

Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage Chrysosplenium oppositifolium
I also saw Greater Woodrush Luzula sylvatica. forming dense mats in the understorey of the woodland. This species spreads extensively through rhizomes. This is a large Woodrush; the only UK Woodrush with leaves of more than 6mm width (typically 10mm wide). Another couple of species in this woodland included Broad Leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius and Wood Avens Geum urbanum, which are shown below.

Broad Leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius with Wood Avens Geum urbanum


Mabey, R. (1996). Flora britannica.

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