7 August 2013: Parsonage Moor

Leader: John Killick 

Abingdon Naturalists' Society members were pleased to be joined by  two local residents who came along to learn more about one of the BBOWT  reserves in their area.  

John Killick introduced the event with an explanation of  the need for constant management work, including grazing by ponies, to maintain this reserve as one of Oxfordshire's prime sites for diverse and rare flora. Without this constant effort, the habitat would soon revert to scrub and woodland. We then explored the plant life of the site under John's guidance, learning how to differentiate between what would look to the uninitiated to be single species - from St John's Wort to Rushes. John also led the group to local rarities including Grass of Parnassus.

One interesting side issue was that after an early summer in which everything seemed to be behind schedule, several flora which John expected to be showing now had gone over as a result of the recent prolonged hot weather. 

Adrian Allsop

Species ListNotes
Bedstraw, Fen Related to Cleaver family
Butterwort Mainly on tussocks of grass. Not yet in flower, but will have purple flower similar to violet
Dewberry More delicate in size and flavour as blackberry and not as prickly
Dropwort, Water Looks like Parsley
Fern, Lady
Grass, Arrow Best seen in December when leaves look like arrows. Not a grass. Not even a sedge or rush
Grass, Purple Moor
Gromwell, Common
Lousewort, Marsh
Meadowsweet Also called "Courtship and Matrimony"
Mint, Water
Parnassus, Grass of Not a grass at all! Lots around in bud, but not yet in flower
Rattle, Red Gone to seed
Rush, Black Bog Not a rush but a sedge and growing in a fen not a bog
Scabious, Devil's bit Same family as teasel
Spurge Laurel
St John's Wort
Valerian, Small Marsh
Vetch, Tufted
Vetchling, Meadow