These plants ranged from the commonplace: bird’s foot trefoil and lady’s bedstraw, to limestone grassland specialists: centuary, perforate st. john’s wort and yellow wort, to nationally rare species: ivy broomrape (parasitic on ivy), cheddar pink and slender thistle. Colour and scent were provided by sea lavender, common rock rose, pyramidal orchid and wall germander. There were exotically-named species, including the bulbous meadow grass, black spleenwort, nodding thistle and fiddle dock (with violin-shaped leaves). Helena showed an encyclopedic yet non-intimidating knowledge of these, not an identification guide to be seen, which made for a more enjoyable and informative walk.
Photo: Bird's Foot Trefoil seed pods