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Meadow Flowers - Summer

Written by John James, posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Following on from the wettest and coldest winter and spring for quite some time, we are now having one of the hottest and driest summers in living memory. Because of this, our wild flowers, although flowering well, are only doing so for a relatively short period and are going to seed very early. Quite what long term affect this will have we do not know, but nature has its way of sorting everything out and hopefully all will be well.

Over the summer period we have seen the following flowers (photogrpahs of all are featured in the gallery below):

Ansell’s Field/New Walk

This area which was largely bare soil beneath the trees was sown in the autumn of 2013 with a wild flower mixture suitable for damp, shady areas with the addition of Yellow Rattle and native spring bulbs.

Greater Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa)
Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense)
Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)  
Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis)     
Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium verum)
Wild Sweet Pea (Lathyrus sylvestris)

Boat House Island

The area behind the college boat houses was excavated to provide new drainage services to the boat houses leaving no original vegetation behind. The opportunity was taken in the spring of 2015 to sow the area with a wild flower and meadow grass mix suitable for more open sunny areas and it has been noted that it is now very popular with butterflies, bees and many other flying insects.

Common Teasel (Dipsacum fullonum)
Wild Chicory (Chicorium intybus)
Hedge Bedstraw (Galium album)
Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca)
White Campion (Silene alba)
Musk Mallow (Malva moschata)
Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)

Cherwell Path and Dean’s Ham

Apart from some areas of path edges that were sown with wild flower and meadow grass mix and some areas on the Dean’s Ham which were sown with a wild flower mix in the autumn of 2017, these areas have had little intervention. Due to more “passive” management, i.e. mowing only once or twice a year rather than weekly, many species have managed to reappear and will hopefully seed themselves and spread more widely.

Red Campion (Silene dioica)
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Yellow Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis)
Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)
Ox-Eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
Square-stalked St John’s Wort (Hypericum tetrapterum)
Purple Loosetrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Meadow Sweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Common Spotted-orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsia)
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)
Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica)
Water Plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica)
Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)
Water Mint (Mentha aquatica)
Marsh Skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)