Monday, 14 September 2015
Return to the Isle of Wight - Stone Walls
When I was sorting through the holiday photos after we'd been to the Isle of Wight earlier this year I noticed there were quite a few photos taken of stone walls and decided I'd treat the subject as a separate post. I haven't had chance to do as much research into the plant id as I would have liked (severe lack of time at present due to decorating/refurbishing/decluttering/moving 1000's of books downstairs to their new home etc. etc. ad infinitum...!) so please feel free to correct me if I have any wrong or add id's where necessary.
Hottentot Fig growing on this wall - an invasive non-native plant - very pretty but it causes problems on cliffs and sand dunes where it out competes native plants.
Ivy-leaved Toadflax - often found growing on stone walls. It was introduced into Britain from Southern Europe at the beginning of the Seventeenth century. Alternative names include: Kenilworth Ivy, Climbing Sailor,Colisseum Ivy, Devil's Ribbon, Mother of Thousands and Wandering Sailor.
Ivy and Herb Robert
Red Valerian, Ivy and Bramble smothering this wall
Meadow Brown just visible (if you enlarge the photo!) in the centre of this photo
A Succulent flowering
Wall Speedwell has found a foothold in a pocket of accumulated soil.
Ivy-leaved Toadflax, lichens and I think the little blue flower may be a garden escapee???
Ivy-leaved Toadflax has an ingenious way of placing seeds in pockets of soil which accumulate between the stones. After the flowers have been pollinated the flower stalk starts to grow downwards towards darkness - an action which pushes the seed capsule deep into a crevice in the wall where the seeds will eventually be released.
Hart's Tongue Fern and Ivy
Herb Robert and a tiny hoverfly species
Hart's Tongue Fern, mosses, lichen and liverwort.
Liverwort/Moss and Ivy-leaved Toadflax
Lichens at Blackgang Chine
Ivy and Lichens at Arreton Manor
I puzzled for a while over this one although it looked like a Plantain of some type. I thought at first Sea Plantain but now I think its more likely to be Buck's Horn Plantain
Scarlet Pimpernel and Bladder Campion
Hart's Tongue Fern on a wall at the churchyard in Niton
The photos above have concentrated on plants growing in stone walls but walls also provide shelter for amphibians, molluscs and snails, a place for lizards to bask, and cavity nesting for bird species such as robins and wrens and mammals, for example, mice. Walls provided shelter, nest sites and places to overwinter for many types of insect species. In the absence of trees birds will use walls as a perch and they provide a highway for many species between different habitats.
I may well return to this topic in the future - hopefully, the post shows its well worth looking at and exploring the world of walls.