KelsaeJohn's picture

Field Scabious?

Observed: 7th August 2007 By: KelsaeJohnKelsaeJohn’s reputation in PlantsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in PlantsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in PlantsKelsaeJohn’s reputation in Plants
Field Scabious1
Field Scabious2 Knautia arvensis
Field Scabious3
Description:

In all the years (10) I spent looking at wildflowers in this part of the country this was the only time I ever saw the plant. It was growing on an area of ground formerly used for industrial purposes then capped with soil. My guess is that the seed had been brought in with the soil.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis) interacts

Comments

Refugee's picture

Soil

I think it is a limestone plant and may have got onto the site due to there being cement based material introduced during the industrial use of the land.
What soil type is in the surrounding area?

Refugee

KelsaeJohn's picture

Soil type

Hi refugee, thanks for your observations. The area, generally, is of poor quality agricultural land. There has been coal mining and clay extraction for more than 100 years. Limestone is certainly not common. The site on which the plant grew had formerly been used as an unauthorised dump by a skip hire company who had premises adjacent so almost anything could be underneath the soil cap.

Refugee's picture

Lottery

It is a bit of a lottery as to what the soil is on an old industrial site. A demolished brick building would account for it. Is the natural soil in the surrounding area mostly acid?

Refugee

KelsaeJohn's picture

Soil: lime content

Bricks are most certainly a major component. The larger site on which this particular area is located is actually referred to as 'The old brickworks; in fact, at the time of the spot a brickworks was still in operation immediately adjacent, and in earlier times there was also a factory producing fireclay products. During my time there, I passed through this old site on my way to my 'Local Patch' (following an old railway line - long since dismantled). I used to say - in a partially joking way, that there was barely a square foot of this wider area that hadn't been built on,concreted over, dug out or buried under a spoil heap of one kind or another - shale, coal, clay etc.
And, to answer your question Simon, yes, the soil of the wider area is mostly acidic.

Refugee's picture

Soil

I was not quite sure of the soil outside the site although it is generally acid.
That would explain why you have not seen it before.
It grows like a weed on our limestone soil in the east midlands.

Refugee