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Lindsay's Flora Blog - 20th April

Posted: Monday 20th April 2020 by trustadmin

Mouse-ears Cerastium sp.

Mouse-ears are plants in the Pink family along with Stitchworts, Campions, Catchflys etc. They are hairy with white deeply notched petals and are a valuable source of food for insects. Most are annual, Common Mouse-ear being our local exception.

You will frequently find 3 species here at this time of year – Common Mouse-ear, Sticky Mouse-ear and Sea-Mouse-ear (the flower shown in the image). Common Mouse-ear is, as it names indicates, common – you will find it in grassy places from spring to November. Sticky Mouse-ear is probably the most distinctive: it has compact flower clusters, sometimes hardly opening, and it often has a slightly sickly yellowish-green tinge to it. You will find this one all over Braye Common and also the Golf Course.

Sea Mouse-ear Cerastium diffusum is smaller than the other two species and is found on bare sandy ground near the sea from March to July. It usually – but not always – has only 4 petals, unlike the others which both have 5. Right now it is abundant all around the coast growing alongside Early Forget-me-not, Common Storks-bill and many other tiny spring plants.

 

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