Time to have another look for the ailing population of Deptford Pinks at Sandwich Bay, so we embarked upon another long walk through the temporary buildings of the Open Golf course, and along the sandy beach. It being a sunny Sunday, we were not alone, as a stream of lone males (strangely all well-tanned) made their way in the same direction - with botany not uppermost in their minds.
Peace and freedom to all...... but it does make a long beach seem remarkably small.
No pinks were found (again) but I didn't miss the opportunity to pick a little Sea Rocket to spice up the summer salads. It's bitter alone, but gives an interesting zest when chopped into lettuce leaves.
Sea-holly is looking good at the moment, and a hopper chose some as a spiny perch.
In another age, this would be called Sea-holly Broomrape (Orobanche amethystea, a Mediterranean race) and have a photo in the best flora guides. It would be described as being very rare, and be cherished by those who find it. Now, however, its status has been revised to Common Broomrape..... for insomniacs, read more at http://www.watsonia.org.uk/Wats18p257.pdf
The sands give way to shingle as you walk south, and Sea-holly gives way to Yellow Horned Poppies. I had been instructed to check out five plants with red-orange flowers, to see if they are the Red species (Glaucium corniculatum) or just variants of the Yellow (G. flavum).
Using the most obvious characteristics as a guide (are the seed-pods hairy or warty?) I hereby pronounce......
..... that they are warty, and therefore the plants are likely to be just variants of the Yellow species.