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THE CHANGING FLORA OF SUFFOLK (Continued from Vol. X Part II, page 119) By F. W.


PLANTS WHICH HAVE BECOME LESS FREQUENT DĂœRING T H E PAST T H I R T Y YEARS Asplenium adiantum-nigrum, Black Spleenwort. Now extinct or rare where formerly frequent on shady banks in South-West Suffolk, owing to the removal of trees and cutting down of protective hedges. Polypodium vulgare, Polypody. Much less frequent everywhere through the removal of hedges, banks and filling up of ditches. Botrichium lunaria, Moonwort. Very rare and not seen recently in East Suffolk. Ophioglossum vulgatum, Adder's-tongue. Although this fern has increased in some protected habitats it is generally now less frequent, owing to the ploughing-up of old pastures where it was formerly even abundant. Helleborus foetidus, Stinking Hellebore. Extinct in many habitats. Myosurus minimus, Mousetail. Now very local and of uncertain appearance. Papaver hybridum, Round rough-headed Poppy. j B 0 th species Papaver argemone, Long rough-headed Poppy | now scarce. Crambe maritima, Seakale. A fine colony on Walberswick beach before the War was destroyed by erosion. I have photographic records. Now only known in two stations and restricted to a total of seven specimens. See Notes and Observations p. 251.—Ed. Cakile maritima, Sea Rocket. Once abundant along our- sandy shores, now less common and comparatively scarce. Teesdalia nudicaulis, Shepherd's Cress. Rapidly becoming scarce and local owing to afforestation and the absence of the rabbit. Prefers barren soils, especially fallow fields during the second and fourth uncultivated years, when it is often very abundant. Cardamine pratensis, Cuckoo Flower; frequent in all areas.

Lady's Smock.


Viola odorata, Sweet Yiolet. Nothing like so common as formerly on road verges and banks. Viola canina, Heath Violet. owtyng to afforestation.

Now very scarce in East Suffolk



Viola tricolor, Wild Pansy. Becoming scarce in both divisions tu the County through afforestation and the disappearance of the rabbit. Helianthemum chamaecistus, Rock Rose. Gone from many stations. Agrostemma githago, Corn Cockle. Now scarce. Dianthus deltoides, Maiden Pink. Rapidly becoming scarce (afforestation), formerly common at West Stow and Icklingham. Cerastium arvense, Field Mouse-ear Chickweed. in East Suffolk. Sagina nodosa, Knotted Pearlwort. Minuartia tenuifolia, Sandwort.



Now scarce

Both plants becoming rare in West Suffolk owing to afforestation and ploughing of heaths.

Malva moschata, Musk Mallow. Several fine colonies exterminated in recent years at Butley, Belstead and elsewhere. Genista tinctoria, Dyer's Greenweed. Formerly frequent on heavy rough pastures. Now scarce. Genista anglica, Needle Whin. Vanishing from several damp heaths owing to drainage and development. At Bixley Heath near Ipswich a colony was known for many years. Astragalus danicus, Purple Milk-vetch. Much rarer in Breckland owing to afforestation and ploughing. Alchemilla vestita, Lady's Mantle. Not seen recently, extinct at Cockfield where a colony was observed for twenty years. Poterium sanguisorba, Salad Burnet.

Less common and decreasing.

Saxifraga granulata, Meadow Saxifrage. Still fairly frequent but has gone from very many habitats owing to ploughing. Parnassia palustris, Grass of Parnassus. Now scarce through drainage. A pasture at Snape has been described as once " white " with this beautiful flower. Drosera rotundifolia, Round-Leaved Sundew. Becoming very local, formerly in several stations. A wet heath at Chillesford, one of its few East Suffolk habitats, was drained and ploughed a few years ago. This heath was a most interesting and valuable place for many scarce plants. Both Drosera anglica and D. intermedia are now very scarce in Suffolk and must not be collected or removed if found. Daphne laureola, Spurge Laurel. down and removal of hedges.

Decreasing owing to cutting

Eryngium maritimum, Sea Holly. has gone from some stations.

Becoming less common and



Crithmum maritimum, Rock Samphire. Rare. Formerly seen in four Suffolk stations, now reduced to one. The first patch to be destroyed just before the war was on Landguard Common during the setting of a concrete post, and the colony on Dunwich Beach went during the construction or removal of wartime defences. The Kessingland colony was more recently destroyed by construction of a new sea wall. Silaum silaus, Pepper Saxifrage. Formerly common in the heavy rough clay pastures. Now scarce owing to ploughing. Polygonum bistorta, Snakeweed or Bistort. Destroyed in several stations, Butley, Nedging, etc., where formerly abundant. Drainage and ploughing. Salix repens, Creeping Willow. extinct in several areas.

Much less frequent and now

Erica tetralix, Cross-leaved Heath. Drainage and afforestation have destroyed several habitats. Both Erica cinerea, Bellheather and Calluna vulgaris, Ling or Common Heather are less wide-spread. There is no longer a decent heath remaining between the Orwell and the Deben, all have been ploughed up or spoilt in some way. Limonium vulgare, Sea Lavender. Decreasing in many salt marshes owing to the spread of Spartina townsendii, Rice Grass. Limonium humile, Remote flowered Sea Lavender, is now comparatively scarce for same reason. Armeria maritima, Thrift or Sea Pink is still abundant as it usually grows in slightly different habitats, varying from very wet to dry sand and shingle. Primula veris, Cowslip or Paigle. Less abundant, pastures, waysides and field verges. T h e lovely cowslip meads of Suffolk are now rarely seen. Primula elatior, Oxlip. Still abundant in West Suffolk but has gone from several small woods and copses and many wet pastures which had never been ploughed, these being derived from former woodland or rough common or scrub. T h e Oxlip is a species being reduced in numbers by hybridisation with the Primrose, the hybrids being very variable, vigorous and not always sterile. Oxlip x Primrose hybrids must not be confused with the False Oxlip which is a hybrid between the Primrose and the Cowslip and occurs frequently where both grow together. Primula vulgaris, Primrose. Has been completely eradicated in many spots near Ipswich and is generally less common everywhere, especially on waysides. Hottonia palustris, Water Yiolet. Not so frequent. Many ponds where it occurred have been filled in or highly polluted.



Anagallis tenella, Bog Pimpernel. Now very local. Gentianella amarella, Feiwort. Becoming scarce. Blackstonia perfoliata, Yellow-wort. Decreasing but still common in several railway cuttings. Menyatithes trifoliata, Buckbean. Disappearing, owing to drainage. Formerly found at Bromeswell growing in a small marsh beside the road with many rare plants, including Marsh Orchids, Carices and Cotton Grass, Eriophorum angustifolia. This site was filled with rubbish and levelled after the war. Veronica agrestis, Field Speedwell. Has become very scrace in cultivated land. Pedicularis palustris, Red-rattle. Decreasing owing to drainage. Pedicularis sylvatica, Lousewort. Now scarce. Pinguicula vulgaris, Common Butterwort. Very local and decreasing. Botanists finding this plant are asked to refrain from collecting specimens. Utricularia vulgaris, Greater Bladderwort. Decreasing. Utricularia minor, Lesser Bladderwort, is now rare. Thymus pulegioides and T. serpyllum, Wild Thyme. Both species less common. Campanula rotundifolia, Harebell. Much less common. Asperula cynanchica, Squinancy Wort. West Suffolk only, where it is local and decreasing. Valeriana dioica, Marsh Valerian. Gone from many sites owing to drainage and ploughing. Carlina vulgaris, Carline Thistle. All the heaths in East Suffolk where this attractive species occurred have now been ploughed. Ruscus aculeatus, Butcher's Broom. In recent years many fine clumps have been destroyed at Bentley. Fritillaria meleagris, Snake's Head or Fritillary. Formerly occurring in quite a number of suitable meadows in East and West Suffolk. Now very restricted and only found in quantity at Framsden and to a lesser degree at Mickfield where it is protected. Some thirty sites ploughed up during the past twenty years. Colchicum autumnale, Meadow Saffron. Becoming very scarce owing to ploughing of old pastures. Formerly abundant in an old meadow at Ashbocking, presenting a wonderful sight when flowering at the end of August, with both purple and white flowers. It had probably grown here for centuries. The meadow was ploughed up during the spring of 1955. Coeloglossum viride, Frog Orchid. Formerly fairly frequent in rough pastures, now very scarce and difficult to find.



Ophrys apifera, Bee Orchid. Now scrace. Between 1934 and 1939 it became very common and sometimes abundant on derelict farmland on boulder clay land. DĂźring 1936 and 1937 it occurred in countless thousands in many parishes. Other Orchids appearing in varying numbers on this derelict land were Plantanthera chlorantha, Greater Butterfly Orchis (frequent), Orchis morio, Green-winged Orchis (plentiful but now scarce and local), O. mascula, Early Purple Orchis, (common), O. fuchsii, Spotted Orchis (sometimes abundant), Anacamptis pyramidalis, Pyramidal Orchis (frequent) and Listera ovata, Twayblade (fairly common). Somewhat similar conditions began to evolve just after the War on derelict airfields and camps, but these have now been mainly returned to agriculture. Aceras anthropophorum, Man Orchis. At one period fairly plentiful in several localities, now much reduced and becoming rare. Orchis ericetorum, Heath Spotted Orchis. now destroyed. Typha angustifolia, Lesser Reed-mace.

Several fine colonies Now scarce.

Carices, Sedges. Several species have become less frequent or rare owing to the draining of marshes, ploughing and afforestation. These include : Carex binervis, C. strigosa, C. panicea, C. pilulifera, C. ericetorum (a rare Breckland species), C. disticha, C. echinata, C. curta, C. ovalis and C. pulicaris. Corynephorus canescens. Grey Hair Grass. Formerly abundant at Benacre, now much reduced during and since the War owing to the construction of coastal defences and removal of sand and shingle. Spartina maritima, Cord-grass. Contrary to what is usually stated I have found that S. townsendii in some SufFolk saltings is in direct competition with our native species which is now decreasing. P L A N T S W H I C H HAVE INCREASED D U R I N G T H E PAST T H I R T Y YEARS. Dryopteris filix-mas, Male Fern. Becoming very frequent in parts of the older coniferous plantations around Tunstall and elsewhere. Dryopteris austriaca, Broad Buckler Fern. In damp parts of the coniferous plantations, sometimes plentiful and forming fine clumps.

CHANGING FLORA OF SUFFOLK 236 Mahonia aquifolium. Oregon Grape or Holly-leaved Barberry. Planted in game coverts and spreading to many woods and plantations, bird sown. Glaudumflavum,Yellow Horned Poppy. Has become locally plentiful during and after the War and thefloodsof JanuaryFebruary, 1953, owing to the disturbance of the shingle beaches and erection and dismantling of defences and the movement of shingle byfloodand machines. Sisymbrium altissimum, Tall Hedge Mustard. Alien. Native Europe. Became very common in Breckland during the War and is still frequent. Sisybritim Orientale, Eastern Rocket. Alien. Frequent about Ipswich and other towns and waste places, especialy during the War on bombed sites. Now decreasing. Descurainia sophia, Flixweed. Much more frequent than formerly all over Suffolk, especialy in coastal areas, waysides, field verges and farm-yards. Brassica nigra, Black Mustard. Common near the Coast and often abundant in pastures, on waysides and sea embankments. Erysimum cheiranthoides, Worm Seed or Treacle Mustard. increased rapidly during the past thirty years and is now a common or abundant weed of cultivated and waste ground. Pastinaca sativa, Wild Parsnip. Becoming abundant and colon ising disused quarries and waste places. Lepidium latifolium, Dittander. Spread to waste areas in Ipswi Felixstowe and Aldeburgh during the War, now decreasing as sites are built over. Diplotaxis tenuifolia, Narrow-leaved Wall Mustard. Common on bombed sites and waste ground during the war, now rapidly decreasing. Diplotaxis muralis, Wall-Mustard or Stinkweed. Becoming a frequent weed of light soils especialy near the coast. A garden weed in parts of Ipswich. Claytonia perfoliata, Perfoliate Claytonia. This North American alien has now become completely naturalised on light soils. Spreading and abundant in Breckland. Atriplex sabulosa, Frosted Orache. More frequent than former along the coast on sandy beaches above high tide mark. Geranium pyrenaicutn, Mountain Cranesbil. All colonies ha increased and this attractive plant is spreading along waysides and embankments. Oxalisfloribunda,Alien. Brazil. Increasing garden weed and most difficult to eradicate.



Acer pseudoplatanus, Sycamore. Steadily increasing as a naturalised tree of woods, plantations and waste places. Trifolium fragiferum, Strawberry Clover. More frequent, damp pastures usually near the coast. Trifolium arvense, Hare's-foot Trefoil. A common and often abundant plant of quarries and the sea coast. Vicia lutea, Yellow Vetch. On shingle. Increased and now locally abundant from Bawdsey to Orfordness from about 1947 onwards. but little appeared in 1953 after the high tide and floods of January 3Ist and February. A few plants survived on high ridges which escaped flooding. Lathyrus nissolia, Grass leaved Vetchling. On sea embankments and grassy places near the sea, formerly scarce, now fairly common. Melilotus alba, White Melilot. Alien. Europe. DĂźring the War spread over Breckland, especially in the vicinity of Camps. More frequent everywhere. Rubus idaeus, Raspberry. Spreading, bird sown. In many woods and on moist heaths. Ribes sylvestre, Red Currant and R. uva-crispa, Gooseberry, appear to be more frequent, but R. nigrum, Black Currant, is still scarce. Chamaenerion angustifolium, Rosebay Willow-herb; Fireweed. Remarkable increase all over the County. Various habitats such as Clearings in woods, heaths, and waste places. Whereever there has been fire this plant will appear. Epilobium adenocaulon. The North American Willow-herb has not yet become fully established in the County but will soon spread to all areas and become one of our commonest weeds. First recorded in Britain in 1891 at Leicester but did not begin to spread until after 1932. (Enothera biennis, Evening Primrose. Alien. N. America. Naturalised on waste ground and railway banks. Increased steadily 1937 to 1946, now decreasing in many places. Smyrnium olusatrum, Alexanders. Very frequent near the Coast. All the colonies I have had under Observation have considerably increased. It is spreading slowly in West Suffolk. Heracleum mantegazzianum, Giant Hogweed. Alien, from the Caucasus. Certain to spread and become locally abundant in wet woods and stream banks. Benhall and Stoke-by-Nayland. Betula verrucosa, Silver Birch. Has colonised heaths and other areas forming birch woods as at Brookhill, Foxhall. Quercus cerris, Turkey increasing, self-sown.








Rhododendron ponticum, Rhododendron. Planted. Increasing and sometimes becoming dominant as at Ashby and Fritton. Buddleia davidii, Purple Buddleia. Bombed sites and waste places. Became frequent during and after the War but now decreasing. Sympliytum Orientale, Oriental Comfrey. Alien. Turkey. Established and increasing on hedgebanks in many parishes in East Suffolk. Cymbalaria muralis, Ivy-leaved Toadflax. Alien. S. Europe. Now firmly established on old walls in nearly every parish. Veronica persica, Buxbaum's Speedwell. Has become an abundant weed of arable land and is the commonest of all Speedwells. Adoxa moschatellina, Moschatel; or Town Hall Clock. Very frequent in East Suffolk and often abundant. A weed in my garden, increases rapidly by means of the creeping rhizomes. Galinsoga parviflora, Gallant Soldier. Alien. S. America. Originally cultivated at Kew and escaped about 1863 and now naturalised on cultivated and waste ground. Very frequent on light soils of east end of Ipswich. At Lowestoft and elsewhere on bombed sites. Increasing. Galinsoga ciliata has been found at Gt. Cornard. (Trans. Vol. VIII, p. 190). Senecio squalidus, Oxford Ragwort. Increasing and now frequently abundant. Alien. S. Europe. Naturalised on waste ground, roadsides, bombsites, quarries, railway embankments and sidings and old walls. S. squalidus is a native of Sicily and Southern Italy and has been cultivated in the Oxford Botanic Garden since 1690 and by 1800 it had spread to every old wall in that City. It was found in Suffolk at Bury St. Edmunds in 1849 and was introduced by Dawson T u r n e r in about 1843 to garden walls at Gorleston. It began to increase fairly rapidly after about 1930 and appeared to have spread along the railways and then fanned out from the S t a t i o n yards. During the war it invaded all waste ground and bombed sites. It has, however, considerably decreased in and about Ipswich during the past three years. Senecio viscosus, Viscous Groundsel, Stinking Groundsel. Now very frequent, waste ground, railway tracks and banks and the sea coast. Petasites fragrans, Winter Heliotrope. Naturalised in shrubberies and spreading beyond. Rather frequent. Erigeron acris, Blue Fleabane. Much more frequent than formerly and locally abundant in disused quarries. Erigeron canadensis, Canadian Fleabane. Has become a very common weed on light soils, waste ground, waysides and against walls.



Matricaria matricarioides, Rayless Mayweed. Alien. N. America. Common thirty years ago but has steadily increased and now abundant and one of the commonest farmyard weeds. Chrysanthemum segetum, Corn Marigold. More frequent than formerly and often very abundant on light arable fields of East Suffolk from the Stour to the Blyth. Lactuca virosa, Acrid Lettuce, and L. serriola, Prickly Lettuce. Both species have become frequent. Waysides, banks, quarries and waste places especially near the coast. Sonchus palustris, Marsh Sow-Thistle. Colonies on the NorfolkSuffolk border at St. Olaves, Oulton Broad and Barnby have spread in recent years. Crepis taraxacifolia, Beaked Hawk's-beard. A very frequent alien. Naturalised. Waysides on a gravelly soil, walls, banks and waste places. Festuca arundinacea, Tall Fescue. A frequent and variable grass of rough pastures, waysides and waste places near the coast. It has increased considerably during the past ten years. Spartina townsendii, Townsend's Cord-grass; Rice Grass. A fertile hybrid, S. alterniflora and S. maritima. Planted in the Stour estuary at Brantham about 1928 and has now spread into all our Suffolk estuaries and is increasing rapidly. Of very strong growth, fixing soft mud and collecting debris helping to reclaim land. However this grass is changing the pattern of our salt marsh flora and the sandy foreshores are disappearing rapidly.






The presence of mammalian remains in the river bed deposits of the Gipping suggested there might be interesting material to be found during repair or building of bridges and culverts, and the East Suffolk County Surveyor, Mr. J. B. Lund, kindly arranged for the preservation of finds made during the progress of such work. So far most of the bones recovered are those of familiar domestic animals, the true age of which it is very difficult to determine owing to the absence of associated datable objects. During 1953, work was carried out at Mariesford and a few bones were obtained from the bed of the River Ore ; these consisted of an incomplete skull and a humerus of a horse. Such bones are to be expected in the vicinity of a ford which must

Changing Flora of Suffolk  
Changing Flora of Suffolk