This page aims to highlight and illustrate the wild flowers found in Horndean. Not just the rarities but the common wayside species where they do well and play a significant part in enhancing the local countryside.
Horndean has a wide range of habitats from chalk grassland to ancient woodland, meadows, hedgerow and heathland.
Wild Flowers in Horndean in April 2008
To start this page we have a gallery of wild flower species that have been seen in flower in Horndean during April 2008. Some are very common but nevertheless make a great contribution to the spring flowering of the countryside. Some are quite rare, perhaps just overlooked.
Click on the thumbnail images to view the larger images in the gallery.
New Discovery on 29th April 2008
On the 29th April I was 'weeding' a path to the wild garden and came across a plant I didn't recognise, originally dismissed as being Field Madder. On closer examination I soon realised it was something else. Looking through the Wild Flower key it turned out to be Cornsalad or Lamb's Lettuce - Valerianella locusta.
Easily overlooked, the plants in our path were very small, the biggest being 2" tall, this could be because it had been repeatedly trodden on - the generic name means 'little valerian' The plant used to be grown for use in winter salad and may have been brought here by visiting Frenchmen who were very fond of the plant's young leaves, but the flora says it is native. Although they contain few calories they are rich in vitamins and mineral salts. There are other similar species told apart by looking at the fruits (see Stace).
Catherington Down flowers in 2006
Dell Piece West and in the fields and hedgerows of Blendworth in 2006
Wood anemones put on a great show at Dell Piece West and in some areas were a bright pink seen 18th April.
Flowers in the fields between Pyle Farm and the Holt, August 2006
There has been an unusual collection of wild flowers in the large field south of Pyle Farm. The area is mainly dry grassland with a solitary oak and a pond half way along the footpath (No.25) that extends to the Holt at which there is the greatest concentration of flowers. I suspect the field has been seeded by the farmer as part of a conservation plan. Worth a visit, there is a very pleasant walk through the Holt. MR: SU 713 123
Along the woodland edge of this field runs the Horndean/Rowlands Castle Parish boundary. The pictures all taken in mid August from left to right show - a fine specimen of mullein, a mix of mullein, bird's foot trefoil and mallow, a mass of bird's foot trefoil in the field to the north east and a mass of bistort or Persicaria around the south side of the pond. In the field were fine specimens Vervain, our only native species of Verbena with tiny bluish-pink flowers, White Campion, Yellow Toadflax and field thistles. Altogether they formed an attractive community. The precise species have yet to be determined.
Late flowering in Blendworth, October 2006
These flowers were seen in the Blendworth hedgerows on 22 October 2006
Orchids in Horndean
There are 10 species of orchids recorded within the parish of Horndean. Some are very frequent and are widely spread across the area, varying in quantity, quality and position from year to year. The pictures from 1 - 12 show a representative selection, with date and approximate location given. Extreme care is necessary as many of the best spots are along the verges of the A3, A3(M) and Dell Piece roundabouts.
1.and 2. Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera Frequently seen on the eastern side of Dell Piece and in 2007/8 a few occurred along a grass verge just off Hazleton Way. The grass cutters were alerted to avoid cutting this section of the verge.
3. Frog Orchid Coeloglossum viride, rare and difficult to find on Catherington Down. The fine specimen shown here was seen in July 1990 on the slope of the lowest terrace.
4. Common Twayblade Listera ovata Frequently seen along Hyden Lane, in the Clanfield Bluebell woods and a final group occurs on the north end of steep slopes of Catherington Lith
5. Fragrant Orchid Gymnadenia conopsea Irregular occurrences at Catherington Down and Lith, A3 verge and DPW roundabout where sometimes numerous
6.and 7. Early-purple Orchid Orchis mascula Seen in April and May in Blagden and Lowton's Copses, north of Clanfield and in Wick Hanger, Blendworth.
8. Common Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii Frequent across the area with very high numbers along the A3(M) verges and the Dell Piece roundabout in mid June.
9. Green-winged Orchid Orchis morio Only one isolated specimen found on a lawn in a back garden of a house just off Hazleton Way. Not seen recently but the same house now has Bee orchids on the verge at the front of the house (for compensation !)
10. Pyramidal OrchidAnacamptis pyramidalis Sometimes seen at Catherington Down but best site is on the rounabout at Dell Piece East where there are always dozens of excellent blooms, also found on the verge of the A3 north of Horndean.
11. Broad-leaved Helleborine Epipactis helleborine Seen every year in varying numbers along Sheepwash track from Hazleton Common down to Padnell Road at their best in August. In 2004 there were nearly 100 blooms and in 2007 there were just a around 5 magnificent spikes, one shown here.
12. Southern Marsh-orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa Only one fine specimen found in Horndean at Dell Piece West by Olly the Countryside Ranger. Other specimens have been found in a field south of the housing development at Waterlooville.
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