Meeting date: 6 September 2014
(Leader: Matthew Berry)
Seven people from East and West Sussex were shown some of the botanical highlights of Eastbourne seafront. Near the rendezvous in Helen Gardens, we saw Coronilla valentina ssp. glauca (Shrubby Scorpion-vetch) self-sown by a bowling green, and bird-sown Cotoneaster mairei (Maire’s Cotoneaster) on a strip of chalk grassland that separates the rear of Bede’s School from the cliff edge. By benches to the west of the Wish Tower (our lunch stop), we saw Asteriscus maritimus (Gold Coins) self-sown on some steps. We also saw non-flowering plants of this species on shingle later in the day. The dark pink flowers of Oxalis latifolia (Garden Pink-sorrel) were somewhat past their best in flowerbeds almost level with the pier entrance. Next stop was the public garden connected to The Pavilion restaurant, the eastern limit of our walk, where the alien highlight was abundant Amaranthus blitum (Guernsey Pigweed), and where Poa compressa (Flattened Meadow-grass) was the day’s most interesting native species. The return route along the promenade proper took in some of the garden plants that make a precarious living on the well-trodden shingle, including two chamomiles, Anthemis tinctoria (Yellow Chamomile) and A. punctata ssp. cupaniana (Sicilian Chamomile), both widely planted in the flowerbeds nearby. Sadly, the single plant of Oenothera speciosa (Mexican Primrose) recorded earlier in the summer had disappeared by the time of this meeting, possibly dug up for the garden. As well as seeing a good balance of native and non-native plants we added a total of nine new species to the three tetrads (TV69D, E and J) we passed through during the day.