Jack and Jill

Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 14 September 2002

(Leader: Alan Knapp)

This was another of Alan’s Good Ideas, an afternoon meeting to look at arable weeds on the chalk. Twenty-two of us began scouring extensive stubble fields. One of the desired weeds eventually presented itself: Silene noctiflora (Night-flowering Catchfly) with its allegedly pink flowers almost yellow (or at least a light tan) was found in small quantity; there were also two Lamiums, L. amplexicaule (Henbit) and L. hybridum (Cut-leaved Deadnettle) – the latter quite frequent – Stachys arvensis (Field Woundwort), several poppies (including both subspecies of Papaver dubium), one specimen of Chaenorrhinum minus (Lesser Snapdragon), and the two Kickxias; several of the party recalled large amounts of  Chrysanthemum segetum (Corn Marigold) here some twenty years ago in fields since converted to pasture, but a few specimens of this cheerful plant were found lurking nearby.

It was only Polygonum rurivagum  (Cornfield Knotgrass) which eluded the party, although it had been present in 2001. But as we were trekking across the field in question Alan quietly confided to me that he had never known the plant to be found in the same site in consecutive years….