Limestone QuarrySunday 14th May 2000
I realise how shallow my botanical knowledge is when I walk with friends who take identification a stage further than I do. A magnifying glass and a field guide can add a lot to a wildflower walk.
Take Parsley Piert, an annual that grows on bare ground, such as on the old quarry floor and along the track. You'd easily overlook it, but if you can focus in on ground level you'll find that the leaves are quite attractive, like miniature versions of Lady's Mantle, to which it is related. The flowers are tiny.
They point out an Annual Nettle to me. Now when I look at the illustrations in a flora, our two varieties of nettle look identical to me but, if you're with someone who has taken the trouble to sort out the differences, they are not so difficult to tell apart. The leaves on the annual, or Small Nettle A Brimstone butterfly goes by, but we're surprised how few butterflies we see considering that it is a hot sunny day.