A FREQUENT ALIEN Amsinkia intermedia From information from the Department of Agriculture, Oxford University, this plant is a frequent alien which is spread about the country with chicken food and other grain and is becoming common in East Anglia. It was noted in 1939 at Felixstowe Docks, at Snape Maltings and on Westleton Heath. In 1954 at Levington, it was then known to have been established for five years. It has also been growing at Hill Farm, Bucklesham, since 1947 and was believed to have been imported with Canadian linseed. There are other records relating to Amsinkia lycopsoides in Trans. Vol. viii, Pt. 1 and III, with references to similar habitats. The plants are probably the same species and a further check will be made on identity. The plant grows to a height of about 35 cm., with a tap root up to 15 cm. Stem branches 4 - 5 alternately from the base, coarsely and stiffly haired. Leaves similarly haired, sessile lanceolate 5 - 1 0 cm. ; lower leaves up to 12 cm., more numerous at the base of the stem. Flowers yellow to orange about eight crowded in axils of Upper leaves, very small 2 mm. diameter. At Bucklesham it is becoming a serious nuisance in arable crops, more particularly thriving on hard headlands of fields and where crops are open with little light competition. The plant flowers at an early stage of growth when about 2 inches high and continues to flower whilst attaining about 2 feet. In spite of the fact that its leaves and stems are closely pubescent, it defies all attempts of killing by chemical sprays. In 1956, the Advisory Service of the Ministry of Agriculture have had trials to control the plant, but so far we have only been able to produce a stem contortion and destroy some of the flowers, although the spray has not prevented seed formation. If this plant is left to its own devices, it may become a serious weed of agriculture and whilst there may be some conflict between the agriculturist and the naturalist on this subject, it is important to control anything which threatens to become a nuisance. Further evidence of the spread of this plant will be welcome. N o v . 1956.
P. J. O . TRIST.
Mrs. Bale found this Califomian Borage at Minsmere in Julv, 1956. I identified it as Amsinkia intermedia, having seen it on the Farne Islands, where it was probably introduced in chicken food. Before the lighthouse was mechanised the keepers kept chickens in a small enclosure near the ruined chapel, where it is still to be seen as Col. Brownlow confirms. D.