Rye Harbour

Field meeting reports
Lactuca saligna (Least Lettuce)
Lactuca saligna (Least Lettuce). Photo: Dawn Nelson

Meeting date: 15 September 2012

(Leaders: Paul Harmes and Barry Yates)

A record 24 members assembled at Rye Harbour on a cool but dry morning.  Besides recording for the Flora, a further objective was to assess the colonization of species on newly created saltmarsh.

Salicornia species were studied.  These included S. ramosissima (Purple Glasswort), S. dolichostachya (Long-spiked Glasswort) and S. pusilla (One-flowered Glasswort), the latter occurring in permanently wet areas.  The hybrid S. pusilla x ramosissima was identified by the presence of two flowers instead of one or three as in the parent species.  Other species seen included Armeria maritima (Thrift), Atriplex portulacoides (Sea-purslane), Frankenia laevis (Sea-heath), Parapholis incurva (Curved Hard-grass) and Suaeda maritima (Annual Sea-blite). Several plants of Euphorbia paralias (Sea Spurge) were making a fine display in a sandy area.  On the shingle bank near the sea, a long, wide belt of Solanum nigrum (Black Nightshade) with berries and Lathyrus japonicus (Sea Pea) was admired.  Limonium hyblaeum (Rottingdean Sea-lavender) and Althaea officinalis (Marsh-mallow) were surprising finds on shingle. The effect of protection from rabbits was evident in the continued survival of Lactuca saligna (Least Lettuce) and of the re-introduced Crepis foetida (Stinking Hawk’s-beard).

Picture of botanists at Rye Harbour
Photo: Dawn Nelson