Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 29 May 2004

(Leader: Frances Abraham)

It looked like a small and very select band in the recreation ground car-park, but Pat and Sophie tracked us down by feminine intuition after we had entered the damp woodland by the Wey, and were quietly admiring natives including Cardmine amara (Narrow-leaved Bittercress) and one or two exotics such as Lysichiton americanus (Skunk Cabbage) and Primula japonica.  The party was 10 strong as Frances led us at a purposeful pace around territory she clearly knew well, while Alan showed no mercy to the young plants of Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam) which has become such a beautiful scourge of our river banks. Eventually we emerged from the wood and, passing some Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry), we set about a pond and green.  Here careful examination of characters such as the topmost bract and male glumes unmasked Carex acutiformis (Lesser Pond-sedge), but the geese had left us little else.  We picnicked in a field after Frances had taken us to one of her favourite plants, Equisetum sylvaticum (Wood Horsetail).  More and wetter woods entertained us in the afternoon with further E. sylvaticum straddling the tetrad border, along with a Wey speciality, Lathraea amethystina (Purple Toothwort) – a species new to several members.  A shady lane and some suburban habitats completed the meeting, leaving us all impressed with the fact that within a very small area we had amassed in excess of 200 species.