Coralroot Cardamine bulbifera in the Wyre Forest
On the 9th of May 2015 whilst out on a family walk just south of Button Oak in the Wyre Forest, I came across a single plant of Coralroot Cardamine bulbifera (01, 02), a rare bittercress with small purplish/brown bulbils that is currently unrecorded in Worcestershire, although there was an unconfirmed report from Spetchley Gardens in 1957 that has not been accepted (Maskew 2014). The New Atlas of the British & Irish Flora (Preston et al 2002) describes its distribution as being largely restricted two type of woodland habitats; mildly acid and basic, including dry woodland slopes over chalk in the Chilterns and in damp woodlands that are generally acidic over clay in the Weald. Its presence here, some distance from its natural range (albeit in ancient woodland), nevertheless in all probability categorises this find as ‘naturalised’. In the Chilterns it has a close association with tracks and footpaths suggesting that it could well have been carried here by wheels or muddy boots. Its close proximity to where National Nature Reserve forestry vehicles are parked and to a footpath indicates just two potential means of arrival. However, it has arrived and it apparently seems to do well in its introduced localities so could well persist for some time.
Maskew, R. 2014. The flora of Worcestershire. Privately published by Roger Maskew
Preston, C.D, Pearman, D.A & Dines, T.D. 2002. New Atlas of the British & Irish Flora. Oxford University Press.
Showler, A.J & Rich, T.C.G. 1993. Cardamine bulbifera (L.) Crantz (Cruciferae) in the British Isles. Watsonia, 19:231-245.
01. Coralroot Cardamine bulbifera in the Wyre Forest. Nick Button
02. Coralroot Cardamine bulbifera in the Wyre Forest. Nick Button