Possingworth Park

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Meeting date: 19 August 2006

(Leader: Rachel Nicholson)

Nineteen members came to Possingworth to join in the search for Sibthorpia europaea (Cornish Moneywort), last seen in the 1970s in a damp shady place near the east end of the lake. This area is now open, bereft of most trees following the great storm of 1987, and much drier, with Carex binervis (Green-ribbed Sedge) the most common species. The end of the lake was choked with Crassula helmsii (New Zealand Pigmyweed) and Myriophyllum aquaticum (Parrot’s-feather), but in a patch of mud near the landing stage there was the rare Elatine hexandra (Six-stamened Waterwort). This was a new record, with only four others in the Sussex Rare Plant Register and nine in the Sussex Plant Atlas. A small piece was extracted and passed around for close scrutiny before being replaced in the mud. In the smaller ponds natives included Mentha x piperata (Peppermint) and Carex pseudocyperus (Cyperus Sedge). There were some introductions such as Gunnera sp. (Giant-rhubarb), Aponogeton distachyos (Cape-pondweed), Crocosmia sp. (Montbretia) and, in the rides, Geranium pratense (Meadow Crane’s-bill) and Heracleum mantegazzianum (Giant Hogweed), as well as one oddity Helianthemum nummularium (Common Rockrose).