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Lindsay's Flora Blog - 11th May

Posted: Monday 11th May 2020 by trustadmin

ORANGE BIRDSFOOT Ornithopus pinnatus

This is another of our very special native plants which I always get excited about. It is rare on mainland Britain but there are healthy populations in both the Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly.

As many of our rarities it is a tiny plant, but once you get your eye in you may find it in abundance! The flowers are orange-yellow, veined with red, and although the flowers are small, their brilliant colour can be quite eye-catching.

It grows in short coastal turf and the best places to look for it on Alderney are the Tete de Judemarre or Mannez Quarry floor. I found this one in one of many patches at the latter site where it was growing alongside other little plants in the pea family including white Burrowing and Suffocated Clover, yellow Lesser and Slender Trefoil, pink-streaked Common Birdsfoot, golden Hairy Bird’s-foot Trefoil and purple Spring Vetch.

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