Court Lodge Farm, Wartling

Field meeting reports
Picture of Stratiotes aloides (Water-soldier)
Stratiotes aloides (Water-soldier). Photo: Brad Scott

Meeting date: 14 July 2018

(Leaders: Jane Birch and Helen Proctor)

Eight members were greeted by Marian and David Harding on their organic farm. They joined us for part of the meeting.We explored ditches and part of the Mark Dyke on Drover’s Marsh. A 30 metre length of the roped-off banks of the Dyke hosted Petroselinum segetum (Corn Parsley). Two plants of Scutellaria galericulata (Skullcap) were seen. Rachel came equipped with waders and was the assistant grapnel operator, sometimes disappearing deep into the reeds to bring back interesting aquatics. One of these was the submerged leaves of Sagittaria sagittifolia (Arrowhead) which are undulate and much narrower than the upper leaves.  Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (Frogbit) flowered profusely in the ditches and Stratiotes aloides (Water-soldier) was noted. Jane showed us how to separate Potamogeton obtusifolius (Blunt-leaved Pondweed) from P. acutifolius (Sharp-leaved Pondweed). We learned from David that species in the Oenanthe genera have persistent sepals which enlarge and enclose the developing fruits. A stonewort was found and a bright green, fleshy alga was collected by Brad and subsequently named by Bryan Kennedy as Chaetophora incrassata. This was only the third record for the UK!

Picture of Chaetophora incrassata

Chaetophora incrassata. Photo: Brad Scott

Plentiful Wolffia arrhiza (Rootless Duckweed) growing amongst Lemna trisulca (Ivy-leaved Duckweed) was a new plant for some of the group. The heatwave had continued with a temperature in the upper 20Cs, so Marian’s return with a basket laden with bottles of ice-cold drinks was very welcome! Thanks are also due to Marian and David for help with transport to and from the site.

Picture of Wolffia arrhiza (Rootless Duckweed)

Wolffia arrhiza (Rootless Duckweed). Photo: Brad Scott

See also: James McCulloch ‘Species no. 3000!’. Only Natural. 15 July 2018