This was my second visit to Holy Cross (Uckfield) for the churchyard survey and this time I was on my own. I was doing fine. I have a fair amount of plant knowledge and a nice new copy of David Streeter’s Collins Wild Flower Guide. Then I noticed a rather undistinguished patch of leaves clinging to one of the old churchyard walls. I looked a little closer. There seemed to be little red dots along the stems so I took out my macro lens and zoomed right into the tiny red flowers. I don’t recall seeing anything like them before. I leafed glumly through Streeter but didn’t know where to start. So I took a little stem and popped it in my pocket. Once home, I glared at Google. There’s no point in doing a search if you have no idea what you are looking for. Then our much-loved 40-year old copy of the Collins guide appeared under my nose, open at Parietaria judaica (Pellitory-of-the-Wall). Mum had come to the rescue! This little plant is a member of the nettle family and is also a food plant for Red Admiral caterpillars. So it might not look like much but it definitely has a place in the local web of life.
See also: Wendy Tagg (2017) ‘Churchyard Plant Survey – End of April.’ The Natural History of Uckfield. 29 April 2017. http://uckfieldwildlife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/churchyard-plant-survey-end-of-april.html