Botanical notes and records, Slade Wood, Goom’s Hill, Abbots Morton,7th July 2012

J.J. Day

Slade is large and predominately ancient semi-natural woodland. It is mainly situated on the heavy clays of the Mercian Mudstones, with some gravels in down slope lenses. The southern parts lie along the calcareous Rhaetic scarp slope. Consequently, soil conditions vary from calcareous to mildly acidic and from freely draining to waterlogged. This has created the conditions for the development of a rich flora, with a total of 241 species recorded from the site up until 2011.

During the field meeting, a total of 168 species were recorded. Of these, 161 were found within Slade Wood and of these 11 species and one subspecies were new. This is about a 62% refind rate, which is a fairly good return given that perhaps only a third of the woodland area was covered during the day. Given the level of coverage, it is more pertinent to examine the novel records rather than potential losses.

Six of the gains were woodland plants and four of these are ancient woodland indicator species: a Tufted Hair-grass, Deschampsia parviflora; Wood Spurge; Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp amygdaloides, Beautiful St John’s Wort, Hypericum pulchrum and Butterfly Orchid, Platanthera chlorantha. This suggests that this large site has not yet been exhaustively surveyed.

Three of the gains were alien species. The accumulation of alien taxa has been a general trend through Worcestershire’s woodlands over the last 40 years. The rate appears to be increasing and seems in large part to be related to human population density. Here, one species, the cultivated water-lily is no doubt a deliberate introduction. The Horse Chestnut sapling appeared to be natural spread but the origins of the Variegated Yellow Archangel is uncertain. The latter species was dominating an area of about 500sqm on the southern ridge. Its spread suggests an aggressive invader on the site.

The pond in the wood is about 20 years old. It has experienced a high turnover in aquatic species. Since 2001, it has apparently lost two native pondweeds, Potamogeton natans and P berchtoldii, gained a cultivated water-lily and the native Water-plantain, and retained the aliens, Curly Waterweed (dominant) and White-water lily.

The most curious find of the day was a small colony of Herb Robert Geranium robertianum of a form green in all its parts, including its petals. It appeared to be a plant totally devoid of anthocyanin pigments, which is suggestive of a possible gene mutation (Fig.1.).

Slade Wood 07/07/2012Compiled by J.J.Day
records in bold italics new for site
Acer campestreField Maple
Aesculus hippocastanumHorse-chestnut
Agrimonia eupatoriaAgrimony
Agrostis canina sens.str.Brown Bent
Agrostis capillarisCommon Bent
Agrostis stoloniferaCreeping Bent
Ajuga reptansBugle
Alisma plantago-aquaticaWater-plantain
Alliaria petiolataGarlic Mustard
Alopecurus pratensisMeadow Foxtail
Anemone nemorosaWood Anemone
Angelica sylvestrisWild Angelica
Anthriscus sylvestrisCow Parsley
Arctium minus ssp. minusLesser Burdock
Arrhenatherum elatiusFalse Oat-grass
Arum maculatumLords-and-ladies
Athyrium filix-feminaLady Fern
Betonica officinalisBetony
Betula pendulaSilver Birch
Brachypodium sylvaticumFalse-brome
Bromopsis ramosaHairy Brome
Calamagrostis epigejosWood Small-reed
Callitriche stagnalis sens.str.Common Water-starwort
Cardamine flexuosaWavy Bitter-cress
Carex acutiformisLesser Pond-sedge
Carex flaccaGlaucous Sedge
Carex otrubaeFalse Fox-sedge
Carex pendulaPendulus Sedge
Carex remotaRemote Sedge
Carex sylvaticaWood-sedge
Cerastium fontanum ssp. vulgareCommon Mouse-ear
Circaea lutetianaEnchanter's-nightshade
Cirsium arvenseCreeping Thistle
Cirsium palustreMarsh Thistle
Cirsium vulgareSpear Thistle
Cornus sanguineaDogwood
Corylus avellanaHazel
Crataegus laevigataMidland Hawthorn
Crataegus monogynaHawthorn
Cynosurus cristatusCrested Dog's-tail
Dactylis glomerataCock's-foot
Dactylorhiza fuchsiiCommon Spotted-orchid
Deschampsia cespitosa ssp. parvifloraTufted Hair-grass
Dryopteris dilatataBroad Buckler-fern
Dryopteris filix-masCommon Male Fern
Dryopteris x complexaHybrid Male & Scaly Fern
Epilobium hirsutumGreat Willowherb
Epilobium montanumBroad-leaved Willowherb
Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp. amygdaloidesWood Spurge
Fagus sylvaticaBeech
Festuca rubra sens.str.Red Fescue
Filipendula ulmariaMeadowsweet
Fragaria vescaWild Strawberry
Fraxinus excelsiorAsh
Galeopsis tetrahit agg.Common Hemp-nettle
Galium aparineCleavers
Galium odoratumWoodruff
Galium palustreCommon Marsh-bedstraw
Geranium robertianumHerb-robert
Geum urbanumHerb Bennet
Glechoma hederaceaGround-ivy
Glyceria fluitansFloating Sweet-grass
Hedera helix ssp. helixCommon Ivy
Heracleum sphondyliumHogweed
Holcus lanatusYorkshire-fog
Holcus mollisCreeping Soft-grass
Hyacinthoides non-scriptaBluebell
Hypericum hirsutumHairy St. John's-wort
Hypericum pulchrumSlender St. John's-wort
Hypericum tetrapterumSquare-stalked St. John's-wort
Ilex aquifoliumHolly
Iris pseudacorusYellow Iris
Juncus articulatusJointed Rush
Juncus conglomeratusCompact Rush
Juncus effususSoft Rush
Lagarosiphon majorCurly Waterweed
Lamiastrum galeobdolon ssp. argentatumVariegated Yellow Archangel
Lapsana communisNipplewort
Lemna minorCommon Duckweed
Ligustrum vulgareWild Privet
Lolium perennePerennial Rye-grass
Lonicera periclymenumHoneysuckle
Lotus pedunculatusLarge Bird's-foot-trefoil
Luzula multiflora ssp. multifloraHeath Wood-rush
Luzula pilosaHairy Wood-rush
Lysimachia nummulariaCreeping-Jenny
Malus pumilaApple
Melica unifloraWood Melick
Mentha arvensisCorn Mint
Mercurialis perennisDog's Mercury
Milium effusumWood Millet
Myosotis scorpioidesWater Forget-me-not
Nymphaea alba ssp. albaWhite Water-lily
Nymphaea marliaceaWater-lily
Oxalis acetosellaWood-sorrel
Phleum pratense sens.str.Timothy
Pinus sylvestrisScots Pine
Plantago major ssp. majorGreater Plantain
Platanthera chloranthaGreater Butterfly-orchid
Poa annuaAnnual Meadow-grass
Poa nemoralisWood Meadow-grass
Poa trivialisRough Meadow-grass
Polygonum aviculare sens.str.Knotgrass
Polystichum aculeatumHard Shield-fern
Polystichum setiferumSoft Shield-fern
Populus tremulaAspen
Potamogeton natansBroad-leaved Pondweed
Potentilla erecta ssp. erectaTormentil
Potentilla reptansCreeping Cinquefoil
Potentilla sterilisBarren Strawberry
Primula vulgarisPrimrose
Prunella vulgarisSelfheal
Prunus aviumWild Cherry
Prunus domesticaWild Plum
Prunus spinosa s.l.Blackthorn
Pteridium aquilinumBracken
Quercus roburPedunculate Oak
Quercus x rosaceaHybrid Oak
Ranunculus acrisMeadow Buttercup
Ranunculus flammula ssp. flammulaLesser Spearwort
Ranunculus repensCreeping Buttercup
Rhamnus catharticaBuckthorn
Rosa arvensisField Rose
Rosa canina agg.Dog Rose
Rubus fruticosus agg.Bramble
Rumex obtusifoliusBroad-leaved Dock
Rumex sanguineusWood Dock
Salix capreaGoat Willow
Salix cinerea ssp. oleifoliaGrey Willow
Sambucus nigraElder
Sanicula europaeaSanicle
Schedonorus giganteusGiant Fescue
Scrophularia nodosaCommon Figwort
Senecio aquaticusMarsh Ragwort
Senecio jacobaeaCommon Ragwort
Silene flos-cuculiRagged Robin
Stachys sylvaticaHedge Woundwort
Stellaria holosteaGreater Stitchwort
Succisa pratensisDevil's-bit Scabious
Tamus communisBlack Bryony
Taraxacum sp.Dandelion
Teucrium scorodoniaWood Sage
Tilia cordataSmall-leaved Lime
Tilia platyphyllosLarge-leaved Lime
Tilia x vulgarisLime
Trifolium repensWhite Clover
Triticum aestivumBread Wheat
Ulex europaeusGorse
Ulmus glabraWych Elm
Urtica dioicaCommon Nettle
Veronica beccabungaBrooklime
Veronica chamaedrysGermander Speedwell
Veronica montanaWood Speedwell
Veronica officinalisHeath Speedwell
Veronica serpyllifolia ssp. serpyllifoliaThyme-leaved Speedwell
Viburnum lantanaWayfaring-tree
Viburnum opulusGuelder-rose
Vicia sativa ssp. segetalisCommon Vetch
Vicia sepiumBush Vetch
Viola rivinianaCommon Dog-violet
Species from adjoining Grasslands
Epilobium ciliatumAmerican Willowherb
Geranium dissectumCut-leaved Crane's-bill
Juncus inflexusHard Rush
Lathyrus nissoliaGrass Vetchling
Persicaria maculosaRedshank
Rumex crispusCurled Dock
Stellaria gramineaLesser Stitchwort
Vicia tetraspermaSmooth Tare


Fig. 1. Herb Robert Geranium robertianum green in all parts. Rosemary Winnall.

Fig. 1. Herb Robert Geranium robertianum green in all parts. Rosemary Winnall.