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Lindsay's Flora Blog - 15th June

Posted: Monday 15th June 2020 by trustadmin

Biting Stonecrop or Wall Pepper Sedum Acre

Biting Stonecrop has bright yellow star-like flowers with long stamens that appear from June to July and attracts many bees in search of nectar. It is just coming into full flower, forming eye-catching splashes of brilliant yellow, particularly evident around the car park near Raz Causeway and Longis Common, and fully justifying another of it names, “Goldmoss”.

It is a mat-forming succulent and stores water in its fleshy leaves enabling it to thrive in exceptionally thin soils. It favours sandy soils such as coastal sand dunes, and dry, rocky places such as stone walls (one of its common names is Wall-pepper). It can also colonise the lichen-covered joints and crevices on old tiled roofs, and in the past it was apparently planted on roofs in the belief that it had magical powers to deflect lightning!

A native evergreen perennial, Biting Stonecrop is common and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland. On Alderney it is seems to be less widespread than the white-tinged-pink English Stonecrop, preferring more alkaline soils, and before the flowers appear it can be distinguished from the latter species by the biting-hot peppery taste of its leaves. The invasive Australian Stonecrop Crassula helmsii is in the same family.

Now we are all free to be out and about again, and there is so much work to catch up with, I will be doing my blogs just once and not twice a week from now on.


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