Plants and Flowers of Anglesey
(including a few insects and animals)
In order of date photographed in 2002/03, according to the weather.
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3 April 2002 The hedgerow banks near the weather station were becoming colourful as Dog-violet Viola riviniana flowers open amongst grass and ivy.
15 April 2002 Bluebells were flowering in the wood near the weather station on this day
16 May 2002 Seeds of willow (Salix sp) near the weather station were gently blowing away on the light wind and being widely dispersed .
31 May 2002 The Burnet Rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia) in flower on Tywyn Aberffraw.
___31 May 2002 Early marsh orchids (Dactylorhiza incarnata) in flower on the slacks (damp depressions) between the dunes.
18 June 2002 In flower at Point Lynas was the sea pink, or thrift, (Armeria maritima).
___18 June 2002 On the clifftop at Point Lynas the white sea campion Silene vulgaris ssp maritima was in flower.
___18 June 2002 The blue sheep's bit Jasione montana together with red fescue Festuca rubra in flower at Point Lynas.
23 June 2002 Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum was in flower in a hedgerow in Llansadwrn.
___23 June 2002 Wild roses Rosa sp were in flower in a hedgerow in Llansadwrn.
24 June 2002 Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria was in flower along lanes near the weather station on 24 June 2002.
5 July 2002 The hedge woundwort Stachys sylvatica was growing in a hedgerow near Llansadwrn village.
July 2002 Similar looking plant the purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria grows on the margins of water and interesting because 3 forms of flowers are found on different plants. There are 3 sizes (short, medium and long) of style, stamen and pollen grain associated with each. Growing here with meadowsweet.
13 July 2002 Viper's bugloss Echium vulgare in flower growing in a grassy place near Malltraeth.
___13 July 2002 Tegeirian y Migin Dactylorhiza majalis subsp purpurella . Fls Jun - Jul . Growing on a former dune slack in Coedwig Niwbwrch Newborough Forest is a group of northern marsh-orchids close-up . What is interesting about the orchids here is that they have survived over 40 years of afforestation. In other places they have been destroyed, but some can still be seen along the rides. They usually grow on neutral to calcareous dune slacks (damp depressions) despite possible drying out by the planted Corsican pine trees. Accumulation of pine needle litter could have made the soil more acidic. Another factor is that the trees have not grown very well, and let in much more light than if the trees had grown well and the canopy closed. In this location the trees are not of much commercial value.
___18 July 2002 Another visit to obtain a close-up photo of the orchid flowers.
18 July 2002 Around the coasts and salt marshes of the island the blue sea lavender Limonium humile and the pink centuary Centaurium erythraea were in flower on this day.
___18 July 2002 This striking white common spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii was spotted growing near the usual pink-coloured form in Newborough Forest.
___18 July 2002 A close-up of the white common spotted orchid.
___18 July 2002 Nearby was growing the rare dune helleborine orchid Epipactis dunensis
___18 July 2002 Close-up of the dune helleborine orchid.
17 August 2002 In full flower at Tywyn Aberffraw on this day was the water mint Mentha aquatica.
___17 August 2002 Close-up of the water mint Mentha aquatica.
___17 August 2002 The autumn gentian Gentianella amarella was just starting to flower on Aberffraw dunes.
21 August 2002 Sea aster Aster tripolium and sea lavender Limonium vulgare were in flower on this day on Cefni Saltmarsh.
1 September 2002 A small bumblebee was feeding on the common teasel (Dipsacus fullonen) in flower in the garden.
30 October 2002 Well-developed autumn colours on a horse chestnut tree in our garden.
5 November 2002 A sparsely-leafed beech tree in autumn colours. Many leaves on trees in the area had been damaged by salt-laden gales early in the season. Those that survived had mostly been removed by the gale on the 27th October.
___5 November 2002 Close-up of backlit beech leaves showing autumn colours.
12 November 2002 Although many roadside hedges had been trimmed these hawthorn berries escaped and would provide food for birds during the winter.
___12 November 2002 There were a few late blackberries that had been missed by the mechanical cutters along hedgerows in Llansadwrn.
15 November 2002 Heathers (Erica carnea var. December Red) were in flower in the garden on this fine sunny morning.
9 January 2003 A foxglove seeded into a mossy wall, along with pennywort, near the weather station.
___15 January 2003 Snowdrops that first appeared on the 3rd were slow to develop because of cold weather.
3 February 2003 Corticolous foliose and crustose lichens, with mosses and ivy, growing on an ash tree. With low air pollution many species can be found growing on trees and walls in Llansadwrn. Winter is a good time of year to look at lichens especially on trees. In the absence of leaves on the trees plenty of light and moisture reaches the lichens and they grow well.
4 February 2003 Flowers on a dwarf Rhododendron in the garden, usually are the first to open, but were soon scorched following several nights of frost.
___4 February 2003 Primroses have been in flower in the garden since the middle of January.
15 February 2003 Snowdrops Eirlys Galanthus nivalis were well into flower and despite cold nights the first crocus were opening on a sunny day.
21 February 2003 On a sunny day male catkins with yellow anthers on this hazel, or cobnut, Collen Corylus avellana were just starting to open and have pollen. Just above on the same twig is a female flower already open with red styles. The female flowers are wind pollinated. Flowers before the leaves appear; although this might seem early catkins on some other hazels have been out since the end of December. Fruit ripen in October and are sort by squirrels and us if there are any left. Often coppiced hazel produces long flexible shoots used for woven fencing and even water diviners' rods.
23 February 2003 The fruits of ivy Iorwg Hedera helix are ripe at this time of year. Ivy, a shade tolerant woody climber to sometimes 30 m but is also happy just creeping on the ground, only flowers in the summer where it reaches the sun and is pollinated by flies and wasps. The ripe fruits are sought as a valuable source of food at this time of year by thrushes, blackbirds and redwings.
24 February 2003 With other vegetation (blackberry, grasses and seedling ash) autumn trimmed or died back this Hart's tongue fern Scolopendrium vulgare was more conspicuous in a Llansadwrn hedgerow.
___24 February 2003 Daffodils are well advanced here this year and there should be no shortage to fill button holes on St. David's day on the 1st March.
2 March 2003 Hedges and trees in this Llansadwrn lane are still leafless at this time in the year are awaiting spring emergence.
___2 March 2003 Well into flower, planted in the children's playground in Llansadwrn, was this Alder Alnus sp Male catkins hang in bunches of 2 - 4 and are 5 - 10 cm long while the female are much shorter at 1 cm, or less. The fruits turn woody through the winter and are still on the tree along with the flowers. The fruits are much sort after by siskins that prise out the seed during the winter.
___2 March 2003 In this close-up of the Alder the small female catkins can be seen clearer. The timber of Alder was once used to make clogs in north England and Normandy.
___2 March 2003 This was the first open flower of the lesser celandine Llygad Ebrill Ranunculus ficaria I spotted this spring. It needs a few days of 10C, or more, that we have had just recently for the flowers to open. Pollen and nectar are accessible to short-tongued insects such as bees, flies and beetles, but I saw none around. In the garden it can be a weed spreading by seed, bulbils or small tubers.
14 March 2003 Sticky buds on this horse chestnut were beginning to open.
___14 March 2003 Drooping bell-shaped flowers on snake's-head fritillary Britheg Fritillaria meleagris ssp had formed; it was just 2 weeks ago that the leaves from the bulbs first appeared above the soil in the garden where we are hoping it will naturalise.
___14 March 2003 The deciduous honeysuckle Gwyddfid Lonicera periclymenum, growing in woodland at Malltraeth, has already formed new leaves well before the trees. This strategy is common among plants of the woodland floor that includes bluebell. It enables growth to be made before leaves in the canopy above restricts light reaching the ground.
15 March 2003 On a sunny and warm afternoon this comma butterfly, in perfect condition after winter hibernation, was spotted feeding on pink flowered Erica carnea in full flower in the garden.
21 March 2003 This blue flowered dwarf ( 6 - 10 cm) bulbous Chionodoxia gigantea is naturalised on the rockery banks in the garden.
29 March 2003 The purple saxifrage Tormaen Cyferbynddail Saxifraga oppositifolia coming into flower. Native on rocks in the mountains of Snowdonia.
___29 March 2003 This dry habitat type of dog-violet Fioled y Cwn Viola riviniana ssp well into flower. Is perennial on creeping rhizome but seeds profusely.
2 April 2003 Flowers on Britheg the snake's-head fritillary Fritillaria meleagris ssp that were just opening on 14th March were now well developed.
___2 April 2003 Introduced and growing naturalised in hedges and sea cliffs Dulys Alexanders or Alisander Smyrnium olusatrum was seen on the roadside verge at old Almshouses Elusendai near Beaumaris. With green shiny leaves and yellow-green flowers it was grown in gardens as a pot-herb and known as horse parsley. . Culpeper's Herbal includes in it's uses, the seeds were sold in apothecaries shops as Macedonian parsley-seed, "... warmeth a cold stomach, openeth a stoppage to the liver and spleen; it is good for women's courses...; boiled in wine is also effectual in the biting of serpents."
5 April 2003 This pink Camellia was in flower on this day. Normally, a later flowering variety than some, it usually escapes late frosts. In a few days it was to be affected by the overnight frost on the 9/10th.
___5 April 2003 On horse chestnut trees Aesculus hippocastanium the light green leaves were still expanding and flower buds forming. The sticky buds were just beginning to break on the 14th March.
___5 April 2003 A female speckled wood butterfly resting on a trimmed Cupressus hedge. Just within it's northern limit this sub-species is widely distributed in N, C and E Europe, usually flies in woodland edge in partial shade from sea level to 1200 m. The southern sub-species can be seen in S France.
___5 April 2003 This purple hellebore Helleborus atrorubens has been in flower since the 4th February. It does well in our mild climate and seems to withstand the odd frost if planted in a sheltered place.
___5 April 2003 This is the later flowering pale apple-green hellebore Helleborus corsicus that has only just come into flower in the garden.
___5 April 2003 Also just flowering was the Briallu Mair cowslip Primula veris will grow on neutral soils but commonest on basic or best on calcareous soils.
___5 April 2003 This goat willow, Salix caprea Helygen Grynddail Fwyaf, produced erect catkins before the leaves that have not long appeared and is already forming seed. Can you spot the resting hover fly? Usually found on lowland woodland margins on slightly acidic soils. See also photographs on 9 May 2003.
___5 April 2003 An example of a successful annual species is Berwr y Fagwyr Thale cress, or common wall cress Arabidopsis thaliania. Common on walls, banks on dry cultivated soils has become a weed of vegetable plots and gardens. Plants have slender tap-root and 1 or more erect hairy stems 5 - 50 cm. Can be pollinated by insects but otherwise self-pollinated the white flowers are on slender spreading stalks. Sets yellowish-brown seed early in the season that spring and scatter from ripened pods when touched.
___5 April 2003 Another successful annual, and weed of gardens, is Chwerw Blegog the hairy bitter-cress Cardamine hirsuta. Plants 5 - 25 cm are abundant on open ground, rocks and walls the white petalled flowers are seldom visited by insects and are self-pollinated.
7 April 2003 Introduced and first recorded in 1640, now common on old walls, is Lin y Fagwyr the ivy-leafed toadflax Cymbalaria muralis here seen growing at Lôn y Groes, Malltraeth. Has purple coloured trailing and rooting stems, lilac to violet coloured petals, and white projecting palate with yellow spot. Flowers are pollinated by bees. Native in S Alps, Yugoslavia, Italy and Sicily.
12 April 2003 The striking white flowers of wild cherry Ceiriosen Ddu Prunus avium with leaves just emerging. A tree of open structure some 5 -25 m with smooth reddish bark can be seen on the margins of Newborough Forest.
14 April 2003 More striking pure white flowers when seen in close-up, the petals are 5 - 8 mm These of blackthorn Prunus spinosa Draenen Ddu appear before the leaves. Pollinated by insects. The large 10 - 15 mm fruits, known as sloes, ripen blue-black colour in the autumn the greenish flesh adhering to the stone. They have a bitter astringent taste and best used for making sloe gin.
___14 April 2003 The blackthorn is commonly found in roadside hedges along with hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Draenen Wen . Here it is flanked on either side by hawthorn that is already in leaf. On hawthorn flowers appear after the leaves.
___14 April 2003 Another example of flowers appearing before leaves is on the ash tree seen near Llansadwrn village. Onnen Fraxinus excelsior has smooth grey bark and in winter easily recognised by it's large terminal black buds. The purplish flowers difficult to see at the top of the tree and here in close-up are wind pollinated.
___14 April 2003 In full flower was Llwylys Denmarc early scurvygrass Cochleria danica sandy and rocky shores, walls and banks near the sea. The flowers 4 - 5 mm diameter have white or pale mauve petals and are largely self pollinating. An overwintering low spreading annual, known as a halophyte as it is able to grow where it is salty and others cannot. To find out where on Anglesey this specimen was growing go here.
16 April 2003 Similar, but taller with sometimes upright flowering stems, the common scurvygrass Llwylys Cyffredin Cochleria officinalis found all around the coast. It was growing here on the grassy clifftop at Point Lynas. The fragrant flowers attract flies and beetles. .
___16 April 2003 Just starting to flower on grass topped sea cliffs at Point Lynas was the spring squill Seren y Gwanwyn Scilla verna. The bulb produces fleshy linear leaves before the pale blue flowers that have violet-blue anthers.
___16 April 2003 This giant horse tail Equisetum telmateia was found growing on a shady roadside verge near Porth Eilian on the NE coast of Anglesey. The 3 pinkish-brown fertile stems were about 30 -35 cm tall and die back after the spores have been produced. Sterile green stems grow from the ground as the spores ripen in the cone and can reach over 100 cm tall, all horsetails are poisonous to livestock.
1 May 2003 Bluebells Clychau'r Gog Hyacinthoides (Endymion) non-scripta were in full flower and at their best on this day. Bluebells grow well on the light acidic soil in this wood near the weather station. Can be seen along hedgebanks and on some mountain valley slopes as high as 1800 ft.
___1 May 2003 On horse chestnut trees Aesculus hippocastanium Castanwydden y Meirch the flowers are now well-developed. Flower buds were forming on 5 April (see) while the sticky buds were just beginning to break on the 14th March (see).
___1 May 2003 Dryas octopetala Derig
mountain avens was in flower. Found on basic rock ledges and crevices high in the mountains of Snowdonia, Cumbria and Scotland but also at sea-level at Bettyhill in Sutherland and the Burren in Ireland.
9 May 2003 Thousands of plumed fruits of the goat willow Salix caprea Helygen Grynddail Fwyaf growing at the weather station were blowing away in the drying westerly wind. On this sunny morning the relative humidity was about 60%.
___9 May 2003 Close-up of the goat willow plumed fruits before dispersal. The hairy outgrowths act like a parachutes and enable the seeds to be widely dispersed on the wind over several miles. See also 5 April.
___9 May 2003 Ramsons (wild garlic) Craf y Geifr Allium ursinum was in flower in the now well-shaded wood at the weather station. Bulbous and often forms large patches to the exclusion of other plants, even ivy. Self pollinated or by insects.
___9 May 2003 Along the base of the cob near the saltmarsh at Malltraeth Clustog Mair Armeria maritima ssp maritima sea pinks (thrift) had been in flower for several weeks. Fls Mar - Sep.
___9 May 2003 Closer look at the sea pinks.
14 May 2003 Wild pansies Trilliw Viola tricolor ssp curtisii were just coming into flower on the dunes at Tywyn Aberffraw. Fls small c. 1 cm; Apr - Sep. Native perennial found on sand dunes and grassy places near the sea.
___14 May 2003 This strikingly blue Llysiau Crist Polygala vulgaris common milkwort was also flowering on sand enriched by lime-rich shells. Fls c. 1 cm; May - Sep, can find white or pink.
___14 May 2003 The Burnet Rose Rhosyn Burnet Rosa pimpinellifolia was beginning to flower. Native especially near the sea on sand dunes and limestone pavement. Fls c. 2 cm; May - Jul. Spreads by suckers forming large patches in places.
___14 May 2003 Tegeiran y Gors Dactylorhiza incarnata the early marsh orchid was just beginning to flower on one of the damp slacks between the dunes at Tywyn Aberffraw. Leaves unspotted, individual flowers < 1 cm, stem 10 -15 cm; May - Jun.
___14 May 2003 The creeping willow Corhelygen Salix repens agg is a prostrate to upright shrub that covers much of the sand dune system at Aberffraw. It has been increasing of late with there being rather fewer rabbits. In this picture on an upright plant are some late catkins with their yellow anthers. Fls Apr - May.
Here in this picture of the prostrate sort the plumed seeds have have formed that will disperse widely by blowing away on the wind on a dry sunny day. And here where the seeds have blown away the remains of the flower have turned red.
___14 May 2003 In a small rock pool exposed at low water and photographed through water are a collection of the 3 types of seaweed (algae). Divided by colour are the greens (Chlorophyceae), the browns (Phaeophyceae) and reds (Rhodophyceae). All have chlorophyll but in the browns and reds the green chlorophyll is masked by other pigments. But some reds may look more brown and some browns are olive-green. The pigments breakdown on decomposition so if you find a stranded red or brown on the beach it may look green. All extract nutrients from sea water and photosynthesise carbohydrates using sunlight. On the left is a small frond of the brown Laminaria sp that is characteristically divided like the palm of a hand. It is fixed to the rock by a single holdfast. Some plants can grow between 1 - 2 m and can form a belt at the edge of a rock shore seen only at spring tides. At the bottom of the pool are some reds and near the surface is the pinkish-purple branched Corallina officinalis that is coated with a rough coat of whitish calcium. Near the top of the pool (bottom right) is the green sea lettuce Ulva lactuca.
___14 May 2003 Rock on sandy shore exposed at low tide with some of the the green alga sea lettuce Ulva lactuca and red alga Heterosiphonia plumosa floating in water. Also, dried out on the rock is the brownish-purple almost black irregularly shaped Porphyra sp. Known in Swansea and Llanelli in South Wales as laverbread (pronounced larverbread). It is collected and boiled then rolled in oatmeal, fried and eaten with fried bacon. Some say it is an acquired taste, but coming from Swansea I love it!
___14 May 2003 Many marine animals are used to the tide coming and going twice a day. When the tide ebbs they are left clinging to the rock pulling themselves, with strong muscles, tight to the rock to prevent drying out in the air. In this picture are several different coloured univalved spiral molluscs (snails), small dark-blue bivalved mussels and hundreds of very small grey acorn barnacles encrusting the rock surface. None of this rock was exposed every bit being used by an organism. When the water returns barnacles will partially lift from the rock to extend plume-like 'feet' to feed. The molluscs can move around the rock to feed. Near the centre is a dark-red coloured mass of stiff jelly about 4 cm wide. It is a sea anemone that has no skeleton or shell for protection; it is radially symmetrical and unlike anything that lives on land. Attached to the rock by a short column and seldom moving. When the tide returns it will look flower-like and expand into about 200 tentacles, that if touched, will quickly fold back. Around the column can be seen some of it's 24 clear blue spots. It feeds after stinging and paralysing small prey.
___14 May 2003 Above the beach and out of reach of the highest tides, but not of sea spray in rough weather, was this clump of Clustog Mair Armeria maritima ssp maritima sea pink (thrift). Fls Mar - Sep. Also growing on the rock was the yellow-orange saxicolous Cen y Cerig lichen Xanthoria parietina.
27 May 2003 Triaglog Coch the red valerian Centranthus ruber is common on walls in Beaumaris and near houses elsewhere. Seen here flowering early on the castle walls. Fls Jun - Aug.
___27 May 2003 Naturalised on the walls of Beaumaris Castle the wallflower Blodyn y Fagwyr Cheiranthus cheiri widespread but not in Scotland and Isle of Man. Introduced from the Mediterranean region. Flowers early, has now formed some seed pods.
___27 May 2003 Pyrola rotundifolia ssp maritima Coedwyrdd Crynddail the round-leaved wintergreen was just starting to flower early at Tywyn Aberffraw. Fls Jul - Sep.
29 May 2003 Carpiog y Gors Lychnis flos-cuculi ragged robin growing on marshy ground near Cefni Estuary. Flowers 3 - 4 cm on shoots that can be 30 - 75 cm tall. A favourite of butterflies and bees. Fls May - Jun.
___29 May 2003 The yellow flag iris Iris Felen Iris pseudacorus was just coming into flower on wet marshy ground near Cefni Estuary. Rhizomatous, flowers 8 - 10 cm diameter on plants up to 150 cm. Fls May - Jul.
___29 May 2003 This blue butterfly was feeding on ribwort plantain Llwynhidydd Plantago lanceolata growing in a grassy meadow near Cefni Estuary. Fls Apr - Aug.
___29 May 2003 Coeden Afalau Surion Malus sylvestris crab apple late flowering on a reddish-brown twigged small tree along woodland edge at Coedwig Niwbwrch Newborough Forest. Fls May.
___29 May 2003 To the north of Newborough Forest within the estuary lies the Cefni Saltmarsh. The ebb and flow of tides periodically inundates saltmarsh plants with sea water. Known as halophytes, they are tolerant of salt. The thrift Clustog Mair Armeria maritima ssp maritima, growing sward-like here, is probably ecotypically different from the more familiar form along rocky coasts. Fls Mar - Sep.
___29 May 2003 Sea milkwort Glas yr Heli Glaux maritima also tolerant of salt and grows on Cefni Saltmarsh. Creeping, or partially erect, pink flowers only 3 - 6 mm diameter. Fls Jun - Aug.
7 June 2003 A painted lady butterfly Cynthia cardui an immigrant from Africa feeding on Caucasian crosswort Phuopsis (Crucianella) stylosa Croeslys Cawcasaidd on the rocky bank in the garden. The plant from Persia has become an established alien in hedgerows in some counties in Wales, but not so far recorded outside the garden on Anglesey (?). The butterfly will breed here, the larval food plants are nettle, thistle and tree mallow, but do not survive the winter (warming trend?) unless they migrate back to frost-free Africa.
___7 June 2003 This small pearl-bordered fritillary Clossiana selene was photographed near Newborough by Mike Weiner. Widely distributed in northern and central Europe but absent from the Mediterranean. Flies May - June and can be seen on mountains.
11 June 2003 Pink 5 - 8 mm flowers on single rectangular stems of the lesser centuary Canri Leiaf Centaurium pulchellum were just starting to open at Tywyn Aberffraw dunes. Prefers calcium-rich spots (derived from sea shells) in open ground around the coast not far from the sea. Fls Jun - Oct.
___11 June 2003 Gwlyddyn Mair y Gors Anagallis tenella the bog pimpernel was beginning to flower (6 - 10 mm). Common in the west and north in damp places on lime-poor soils and unimproved grassland near the coast and on bogs. Seen here on a dune slack at Aberffraw. Creeping perennial roots at nodes. Fls Jun - Aug .
___11 June 2003 Twayblade orchids Ceineirian Listera ovata can be found in lime-rich woods, around fens and dunes. Here it was growing at Aberffraw and being rhizomatous was one of several in a line. Paired basal leaves from Scottish Twa Blades while scientific name is after naturalist and physician Martin Lister (1638 - 1712). Yellowish-green flowers on stem 20 - 60 cm (this 33 cm) looks rather drab but has typical orchid flower structure close-up. Pollinated by small insects that seek nectar-secretions. Fls May - Jul .
___11 June 2003 The first flowers also were opening on bee orchids Tegeirian Gwenynen Ophrys apifera Named because the fat lip gives a good impression of a bumblebee close-up , 2 - 3 flowers on a stem 10 - 30 cm tall. Grows on open lime-rich grassland, banks and dunes. Fls Jun - Jul .
___11 June 2003 This group of pyramidal orchids Tegeirian Bera Anacamptis pyramidalis were appearing too. On stems 10 - 40 cm a dense cluster of rich-pink flowers, with deeply 3-lobed lip, form a conical top close-up . Again favours lime-rich spots in open grassland and dunes. Pollinated by butterflies and moths. Fls Jun - Aug .
15 June 2003 On the southern shore of the Cefni estuary, edging Coedwig Niwbwrch Newborough Forest, is a meadow-like sward frequented by butterflies that contains a variety of grasses and flowering plants including these common spotted orchids Tegeiran Brych Cyffredin Dactylorhiza fuchsii close-up . Hybrid forms occur frequently. Fls Jun - Jul .
___15 June 2003 This fine group of the same species was also found growing on one of the afforested former dune slacks, near the sea, where the trees have not grown very well close-up .
___15 June 2003 Nearby, earlier than in 2002, these northern marsh orchids Tegeiran y Migan Dactylorhiza majalis subsp purpurella were again in flower under the Corsican pines on the former dune slack. Fls Jun - Jul .
___16 June 2003 The Iron Age hill-fort at Bwrdd Arthur Din Silwy was built on the almost flat topped 538 ft (164 m) high limestone hill in the SE corner of Anglesey. While much of the stone in the ramparts has been plundered much remains and some walls are relatively intact. There are stone foundations of a few structures but little archaeological work has been done at the site. Soils derived from limestone rocks supports a species-rich flora. The hill is grazed by sheep and much gorse and scrub has developed in recent years. Some grassland has been improved, but some patches of semi-natural grassland remain. In these can be found several species typical of a lime-rich habitat.
16 June 2003 The yellow rock-rose Cor-rosyn Cyffredin Helianthemum nummularium ssp nummularium was abundant among the limestone rocks and grassland. A dwarf shrub spreading 5 - 30 cm with numerous rooting branches on a woody stock. Five veined yellow sepals some 20 - 25 mm across the flower, pollinated by bees close-up. The rock-rose is the only British representative, along with 2 other species that occur locally, of a group of Mediterranean plants that include the sun-roses Cistus. Fls May - Sep .
___16 June 2003 Teim Gwyllt wild thyme Thymus praecox was just starting to flower. The small creeping aromatic shrub common in dry grassland, rocky places especially limestone near the sea and on lime-rich mountain soils and rocks. Leaves 4 - 8 mm can form large mats, flowers 3 - 5 mm. Fls Jun - Sep .
___16 June 2003 Gwyddlwdn Cyffredin Sanguisorba minor ssp minor salad burnet is a good indicator of lime-rich (calcareous) soils. It is less frequent on neutral soils and absent on acidic. It was growing well here on the rocky slopes and grassland. The flowers look like green balls, on top of the erect stem, with stamens on long stalks. Later as the stamens wither the reddish female stigmas can be seen close-up . Compound leaves in rosette at base sharply toothed smell and taste of cucumber. Is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) and unusual because it is wind pollinated. Fls May - Sep .
___16 June 2003 Quaking-grass (Doddering Dillies; Tottle-grass in Sussex) Crydwellt Mwyaf Briza media is found in dry lime-rich pastures but is not such a good indicator as salad burnet. It can be found in a range from wet and acid. Fls Jun - Aug .
___16 June 2003 Pig yr Aran Rhuddgoch Geranium sanguineum the bloody crane's-bill found growing here, previous record not found. Perennial on woody rootstock with leaves deeply divided, 5 notched petals. Mainly coastal, at South Stack and on lime-rich soils as the Great Ormes Head in Llandudno, also the Burren and limestone pavements of northern England. Fls Jun - Aug .
___16 June 2003 Growing on soil under the limestone cliffs was the fragrant orchid Tegeirian Pêr Gymnadenia conopsea close-up. Common on lime-rich soil and sometimes slightly more acidic, as here, along with ericaceous species, dwarf gorse but including some yellow rock-rose. Flowers reddish-lilac and carnation-scented. Fls Jun - Aug .
___16 June 2003 The scarlet pimpernel Gwlydd Mair Anagalis arvensis was seen growing where gorse had been burnt recently. Not confined to lime-rich soils, but common on waste land, roadside verges as well as near the sea where it is found only rarely in Scotland close-up . Called the 'poor man's weather-glass' or sometimes 'shepherd's barometer' as the flowers only fully open in sunshine and close in cloudy or damp weather. They will close anyway in the afternoon, at 1.55 GMT some were open while others were closed or closing when humidity was under 60%. (Other plants will close when it is damp including the Welsh poppy). Some variation in colour with more flesh coloured ones found on the coast of Wales, SW England and Ireland. You can sometimes find blue ones. Fls Apr - Oct .
20 June 2003 Another geranium found on the road side at Malltraeth is the hedgerow crane's-bill Pig yr Aran y Gwrych Geranium pyrenaicum . Plant 25 - 60 cm, flowers in pairs, notched petals 7 - 10 mm, pollinated by various insects. Fls Jun - Aug close-up
23 June 2003 The bloody crane's-bill Pig yr Aran Rhuddgoch Geranium sanguineum is seen here at South Stack on the NW tip of Anglesey close-up Perennial on woody rootstock with leaves deeply divided, flowers 20 - 30 mm diameter with 5 notched petals. At South Stack the soils are derived from grits, sandstones and shales (with pockets of deposited lime-rich sea shells) the plant is found mostly near the sea on lime-rich soils such as the Great Ormes Head, the Burren in Ireland and limestone pavements of northern England. Fls Jun - Aug .
___23 June 2003 On the dry clifftop near Twr Ellin at South Stack the kidney-vetch or ladies' fingers Plucen Felen Anthyllis vulneraria was growing in a wind-trimmed carpet. Probably ssp corbierei but ssp vulneraria grows along the W coast also and could be an intermediate form. Common near the sea, sand dunes and on limestone outcrops. Flowers 12 - 15 mm close-up Fls May/Jun - Jul/Sep .
___23 June 2003 Also in a carpet of heather on the clifftop was some honeysuckle Gwyddfid Lonicera periclymenum. Usually a climbing plant of woods and hedgerows here it is surviving in the wind-trimmed heath. Fls May - Aug .
___23 June 2003 Growing on the basal walls of one of the 19 round houses, settlement dating from the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age, at South Stack was Briweg y Cerrig the English stonecrop Sedum anglicum close-up. Evergreen perennial forms mats, flowers 12 mm diameter having white petals tinged pink on reverse with red scales. Common in the west but absent from very lime-rich soils/rocks. Fls Jun - Aug .
5 July 2003 Despite grey skies the marsh helleborines Caldrist y Gors Epipactis palustris were looking perfect at Tywyn Aberffraw. Rhizomatous and was locally abundant, in quite large patches in places, continuing the prolific flowering of orchids this year. Flowering stems 15 - 30 cm, flowers about 1 cm cross pollinated by bees and other insects closer view, close-up Fls Jun - Aug .
___5 July 2003 More pyramidal orchids Tegeirian Bera Anacamptis pyramidalis in different shades of pink, in flower since 11 June, had appeared on the sides of some dunes close-up from above. Fls Jun - Aug .
___14 July 2003 The rare dune helleborine orchid Epipactis dunensis was coming into flower in Coedwig Niwbwrch Newborough Forest. In Britain found only on Anglesey and a few coastal areas of northwest England closer view. The former dune system was planted up with mainly Corsican pine over 40 years ago. These orchids, grow in damp dune slacks (depressions) but not in the moistest places. They are usually found growing on hummocks of perhaps the sand-trapping creeping willow Salix repens. But they seem to be growing taller and better here slightly drier sandy-soil near, or under, the weakly growing pine trees near the sea. Despite this usually growing on sand dunes other Epipactis species grow in woodland habitats. It is almost always self-pollinated close-up of some of the 14 flowers . Fls Jul - Aug .
4 August 2003 The Burnet Rose Rhosyn Burnet Rosa pimpinellifolia that was beginning to flower on 14 May see has now produced these dark-purple hips. Native especially near the sea on sand dunes and limestone pavement. Fls May - Jul; Frs Aug - Sep.
___4 August 2003 Not as prolific this year as in 2002 see, probably because of the dry weather, the strongly aromatic water mint Mintys y Dwr Mentha aquatica was flowering in the damper parts of Tywyn Aberffraw. Found in marshy ground and along margins of fresh water. Fls Jul - Oct .
___4 August 2003 Also in damp or marshy places at this time can be found Helyglys Lledlwyd Epilobium parviflorum the hairy willow herb close-up. Fls Jun - Aug .
___21 August 2003 The autumn Lady's-tresses orchid Ceineirian Troellog Spiranthes spiralis was in flower at Tywyn Aberffraw. Difficult to spot this plant was only 11 cm tall, but some can grow larger. Leaves are bluish-green and flowers white close-up arranged in a spiral. Some flowers already beginning to form fruits that will contain numerous very small seeds. Found in short grassland on lime-rich soils and, as here, on sand dunes in the south so we are lucky to find it here. Sometimes appears on old uncut lawns. Fls Aug - Sep .
Botanical names: Follow the Flora of the British Isles by A. R. Clapham, T. G. Tutin and D. M. Moore, Cambridge University Press, 3rd Edition 1989.
Welsh names: Follow the Flowering Plants of Wales by R. G. Ellis, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff 1983.
Most photographs on this page were taken with a Casio QV-3000EX/lr digital camera, some on film with a Canon EOS 3000, and are watermarked for copyright protection. For use of material in publication please contact the author.
Plants, Flowers and Ecology of Anglesey 2004
Weather photograph galleries 2001;
These pages are designed and written by Donald Perkins
Photographs and text are copyright ©: 2002 - 2003
Page dated 3 April 2002 with photos added from time to time through the season.