Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Corky-fruited Water-dropwort (Oenanthe pimpinelloides)



4th July 2012: Corky-fruited Water-dropwort (Oenanthe pimpinelloides) in flower. Note the relatively showy barren flowers around the edge of each umbellule. 



Above, umbel with flowers fading. The sturdy, straight spokes are distinctive. 


Stems and leaves. 






24th July 2012. Time to take a look at how the fruits are getting on. 











7th August 2012.  Below: fruits starting to colour. 



Below, a late umbel. You can see that the outer umbellules have not succeeded in forming fruit. 





24th September 2012. A wet day - the fruits have now turned brown. 







29th October 2012. Dispersal. 



Photo of the fruits just before they fall off. When they do, they expose the corky bases that give the plant its name.






This plant was growing in neglected grassland outside an unoccupied building in a Swindon business park. It's the only one I've found around here, but I've watched it for the last three years. It turns out that this location is quite a long way from any of the records in the 1993 Wiltshire Flora. Corky-Fruited Water-Dropwort seems to be extending its range. It used to be strangely restricted to an area of southern England centring on Dorset, Somerset, and the lower Severn in Gloucestershire. In Frome, 40 miles to the SW of Swindon, it is a common species.

And if you can bear it here's even more pics, this time from June.

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