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Lindsay's Flora Blog - 23rd April

Posted: Thursday 23rd April 2020 by trustadmin

Navelwort Umbilicus ruprestis

This plant, also known as Wall Pennywort, is one I am very often asked about by visitors to the island although it is relatively common in parts of the UK too. It belongs to the Stonecrop family but is quite distinctive and if you don’t know it, it can be a bit of a puzzle.

It grows here in very many habitats, from walls to roadsides, to cliff top rocks and coastal scree, and in later May you will find spectacular displays of the plant on the south cliffs alongside Greater Broomrape.

It has round fleshy leaves (which are actually edible but I personally find fairly tasteless) with a dimple in the centre, hence its name. The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-yellow to pinkish-white, and appear in long spikes in spring. Some plants, I understand usually older ones, are branched near the base and look quite strange and I have found a number of these, particularly near the top of the Vau du Saou valley.
 

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