Thursday, 22 August 2013

22nd August: Late summer blooms

The special orchids of Lindisfarne are now setting seed, but there is still an amazing array of fascinating plants and flowers in bloom to be seen among the dunes.

Here are just some of the beautiful plants you can still see:

The beautiful white flowers of the Grass of Parnassus - this is not actually a true grass. Also known as 'bog star', this plant flourishes in damp conditions; the wet dune slacks of Holy Island is perfect habitat.

The tiny, bright pink flowers of the Seaside Centaury deserve a much closer look. It can be confused with Common Centaury, but the leaves of the two species are completely different - Seaside Centaury has much more narrow, strap-like leaves. 

This little plant is Eyebright - this species has many tiny flowers, and is abundant among the dunes right now. It grows in various habitats, being semi-parasitic and feeding off the roots of grasses. You can see it next to paths so watch out for it when walking through the dunes of Holy Island.

In addition to some fantastic plants, there are many more interesting sights among the dunes, for example this empty pupa case of a burnet moth, with part of the caterpillar still attached:

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