lavateraguy's picture

Loosestrife

Observed: 6th October 2012 By: lavateraguylavateraguy’s reputation in Plantslavateraguy’s reputation in Plantslavateraguy’s reputation in Plantslavateraguy’s reputation in Plantslavateraguy’s reputation in Plants
IMG_8155
Description:

A formerly overgrown area next to the canal has been cleared (and planted with trees). In addition to Geranium endressii which I have known to be present there for some years, several other cultivated plants (presumably hidden by the herbage before) have been retained.
Either garden escapes, throwouts, or relics of old cultivation (I don't recall a time when this area was not overgrown). Malva x clementii 'Rosea' was previously present here, but was lost a few years ago.
I seem to recall this plant cultivated a few hundred yards away, on the other bank of the canal.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Rachy Ramone's picture

Just wait until it flowers!

I agree - this is a frequent garden escape, as it spreads hugely, and people dig up the excess and throw it out. It seems to be able to survive without being properly planted!

When it flowers, (which it should be doing now) they will be startlingly bright yellow against the purple foliage.

You (or your canal) are lucky to find it so strongly coloured: in my experience, this year has not been good for this cultivar, and many of the plantings I know have come up very greenish, instead of this lush purple.

Personally I would grow it for the foliage only, and would regularly chop the tops off to prevent flowering. Possibly this plant has been cropped by local wildlife.

It's hard to judge height from photos, but this plant normally gets to waist height: your looks about knee height, which would correspond to the possibility of it having been nibbled earlier in the year.

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

lavateraguy's picture

Loosestrifes

According to the BSBI tetrad maps, while Lysimachia punctata is a common garden escape/throwout (it's not clear to what degree the variation in abundance is due to genuine variations in abundance, or to variations in recording practice), Lysimachia ciliata isn't; if this site is acceptable as a record then it would be a first county record, and only the second in Britain this decade.

But as a record it probably is questionable - we have to be reasonably sure that it wasn't planted post-clearance (I am relying on an absence of visible evidence of soil disturbance), and there's still the question as to whether the site originated as an abandoned garden.

If you do have Lysimachia ciliata wild in your area I expect your vice-country recorder will be interested.

Rachy Ramone's picture

Canal side planting/guerilla gardening

An interesting point: how is the rise in guerilla gardening going to affect recording?

I'm part of my local canal-clearing group, and when we clear an area and/or plant trees, members invariably bring along garden leftovers, bulbs, etc to add to the area.

From your description of the site, I had assumed something similar had occurred there.

Btw, where does the "fringe" come into it?

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY