kurtis2's picture

Dog's mercury

Observed: 14th March 2010 By: kurtis2kurtis2’s reputation in Plants
IMG 2849
IMG 2858
Picture or Video 791
Picture or Video 792
Picture or Video 793
Picture or Video 794
Picture or Video 795
Picture or Video 796
Description:

observed in mixed deciduous forest

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Dog's Mercury (Mercurialis perennis) interacts

Comments

Norwichnaturalist's picture

Dog Mercury

Agreed, a frequent ancient woodland indicator and early flowerer

Colin Jacobs.
Wild Flower Society member
Norwich
Norfolk
vc27
http://www.thewildflowersociety.com/

Jonathan's picture

Male and female flowers are

Male and female flowers are on separate plants, although very rarely you find hemaphrodites.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Barnmead's picture

Indicator plant

We have lots of this growing in a wooded area and under a hedge in our garden but I had not realised its significance as an indicator of ancient woodland until recently. Is it exclusively found in such situations? And how ancient would it have to be? The hedge could be 200 years old +/- and we know there has been a farm here for over 400 years.

Penny

Jonathan's picture

Indicators of ancient woodland

You have to be careful about concluding the age of a woodland or hedge from the presence or absence of a single species. Oliver Rackham writes about this topic at length in Ch 12 of his New Naturalist book on Woodlands. He gives a table showing how often different woodland species are consistently present in woods that are known to be ancient, based upon 18 such lists for different parts of the country. Dog's Mercury is only on 3 of the 18 lists! It is associated with ancient woods in E.England, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Norwichnaturalist's picture

Normally found in Saxon

Normally found in Saxon hedgerows and much earlier I expect. Will be found where ancient woodland was or still is.

Colin Jacobs.
Wild Flower Society member
Norwich
Norfolk
vc27
http://www.thewildflowersociety.com/