Spring flowers at Ainsdale LNR.

Last week I joined a guided walk through the dunes and wet slacks at Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve. The walk was led by Dr Phil Smith, an expert on the dune systems and John, one of the local rangers.

We discovered a host of plants, some of them listed as rare or very rare.

Here are a few of my images.

Houndstongue, Cynoglossum officinale.

02. Houndstongue01 Houndstongue

The round tongue shaped leaves are possibly why the plant is called Houndstongue. Above are clusters of deep red wine coloured flowers. The fruit burrs cling to passing animals and are dispersed. The plant had an unusual odour. It smells like a mouse.

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Sea Holly, Eryngium maritimum.

03 Sea Holly04. Sea Holly

A member of the carrot family it is found in sheltered areas of the frontal dunes.

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Dune Pansy, Viola tricolor curtisii.

05. Dune Pansy06. Dune Pansy

Found on the drier dune slopes.

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Marsh Helleborine, Epicactis palustris.

07 Marsh Helleborine08. Marsh Helleborine

Found in the wetter slacks.

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Round Leaved Wintergreen, Pyrola rotundifolia.

09 Round Leaved Wintergreen

Found round the edges of wet slacks. The plant is nationally scarce.

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Field Gentian.

11. Field Gentian10 Field Gentian

Nationally rare.

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Dune Helleborine, Epicactis dununsis.

12. Dune Helleborine13. Dune Helleborine

The Ainsdale Dunes are one of the few places where this member of the Orchid family is found. The cream coloured flowers have dark crimson centres.

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Bog Pimpernel.

14. Bog Pimpernel15. Bog Pimpernel

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Self Heal, Prunella vulgaris.

16 Self Heal17. Self Heal

A member of the mint family. It was once used as a medicinal plant.

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Skull Cap, Scutellaria galericulata.

18 Skull Cap19. Skull Cap

Another member of the mint family. The sepal closes up as soon as the flower corolla withers away. It then looks like a helmet with the visor pulled down.

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I also found several types of orchid including my favourite, the Bee Orchid.

23222120

25 Bee Orchid26 Bee Orchid

A wonderful afternoon in the dunes.

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About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve, Macro, Natural History, Photography, Sefton Coastline, Wild Flowers. Bookmark the permalink.

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