Habitat: Sand dunes

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Sweet Alyssum

Flower: White, occasionally pale purple, 5-6mm, 4 petals. Fruit: Flattened, oval seed pods bearing two seeds each. Leaves: Narrow, greyish-green, untoothed and lanceolate, usually having many whitish-silvery hairs.

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Garden Asparagus

Flower: Bell-shaped, pale green or yellowish flowers. Pollinated by bees. Fruit: A small, red berry, up to 1cm across. The seeds ripen in September and October. Leaves: A perennial herb with an erect, single stem. The shoots are sometimes known as 'spears'.

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Wild Basil

Flower: The lilac, mauve, purple or pink flowers are in whorls and are found mostly at the top of the stems. 2-lipped. 4 or 5 lobed. Insect-pollinated. Fruit: A one-seeded nutlet. The seeds ripen in August and September. Leaves: Pointed, oval and slightly blunt-toothed, apple green leaves with prominent curved veins. Leaves are either stalkless or short-stalked. Square stems. A hairy perennial.

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Peach-leaved Bellflower

Flower: Large, mid-blue (sometimes white), bell-shaped or star-shaped flowers. The 5 petals are slightly pointed. Similar to Clustered Bellflower but Clustered Bellflower has unstalked flowers which are deepe... Fruit: A heavily veined capsule with numerous tiny seeds. Leaves: Long narrow, toothed, evergreen, pointed leaves.

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Sea Bindweed

Flower: The pink flowers are trumpet-shaped with 5 white stripes. The centre of the flowers are yellowish. Flowers are between 3.5 and 5cm across. Insect pollinated. Fruit: A smooth, globular capsule, up to 2cm across. Leaves: Sea Bindweed is a trailing perennial plant with fleshy kidney-shaped leaves.

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Birdsfoot

Flower: Pale pink with darker pink streaks. The wings of the flowers are white and the keels are yellow. Fruit: Curved, beaded, roundish and hairless seedpods with up to 9 segments. When 2 or 3 of the seedpods are together the seedpods resemble birds feet which is where Birdsfoot gets its name from. Leaves: An sprawling annual flower with 7 to 13 pairs of oblong leaflets per leaf.

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Black Bog-rush

Flower: Small, dark brown, flattened spikelets. Fruit: An achene surrounded by a hard white coating. Leaves: Thread-like, unbranched, erect and grows in tight clumps straight out of the ground. The leaves have inrolled margins.

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Common Broomrape

Flower: Papery-looking, creamy yellow and usually with dark reddish-purple veins. Flowers are each up to 16mm long. Yellow stigma, sometimes purple. Fruit: An egg-shaped capsule. Leaves: Broomrapes do not have leaves. They are parasitic; numerous hosts, in particular Black Medick and Wild Carrot. The stems of Common Broomrape are reddish-brown and occasionally creamy yellow. Most comm...

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Sea Buckthorn

Flower: Tiny green and without petals, appearing along the stems. Fruit: An abundance of orange berries cover the tree. Leaves: Deciduous. Silvery leaves that are linear and untoothed.

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Viper's Bugloss

Flower: Pink buds which turn into a dense spike of funnel-shaped blue flowers. Downy sepals and 4-5 pink stamens. Fruit: Wrinkled nutlets, mossy in appearance. Leaves: The simple, rough, hairy, entire leaves are long and narrow with a prominent midrib. 1 alternate leaf per node.

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Bugloss

Flower: Light blue, bell-shaped flowers with white honeyguides, measuring approximately 5mm across. The petal-tube is curved. Pollinated by bees. Fruit: 4-parted, netted nutlets, about 3mm long. Single-seeded. Leaves: The stems are hairy and bristly. The narrow, pointed leaves are also hairy and warty. The upper leaves clasp their stems. Leaves alternate along the stems. Basal leaves are stalked but the upper leave...

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Lesser Burdock

Flower: Oval spiky flower heads. A feature worth noting when distinguishing between Greater Burdock and Lesser Burdock is the flower stalks. For Lesser Burdock, the flower stalks are very short, up to 1cm, bu... Fruit: Clusters of round, prickly fruit called 'burs'. The prickles of the burs have small hooks at their ends. The hooks can cause the fruit to stick to clothing and animal fur very easily while brushing pa... Leaves: The alternate stem leaves are large, broad, triangular with wavy edges. The even larger basal rosette leaves can be anything up to 20 inches long. Greater Burdock has solid lower leaf stalks, yet Less...

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Isle of Man Cabbage

Flower: Bright yellow flowers with pale brown veins, 2 to 2.5cm in size. Pollinated by insects. Fruit: The fruit is a cylindrical pod, waisted and beaked. The seeds form a single row within the beak of the fruit. Leaves: The glossy, pinnate leaves are dark green to greyish and form a basal rosette at the base of the plant. Stem leaves are absent. Isle of Man Cabbage is difficult to identify by the flower alone. Howeve...

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Seaside Centaury

Flower: Tight clusters of pink flowers. Occasionally a white flower may be seen. Similar in appearance to Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) but is a smaller plant and the flowers are more bluish-pink. Le... Fruit: A 2-sectioned seed capsule. Leaves: An erect plant with stalkless, leathery, smooth and hairless, strap-shaped leaves. The leaves are parallel sided (a distinguishing feature), rather unlike other species of Centaury found in the UK. Ba...

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Lesser Centaury

Flower: Similar looking to Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea). The flowers are slightly more red (occasionally white), the petals are smaller and narrower. Lesser Centaury flowers are also longer stalked.... Fruit: A two-sectioned seed capsule. Leaves: Pointed, oval leaves. Basal rosette. More slender and open than Common Centaury. Most common in Southern England. Absent from Scotland.

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Common Centaury

Flower: Dense pink cluster of 5 petalled flowers. Yellow anthers. Fruit: A cylindrical capsule, reaching up to half an inch in length and containing many seeds. Leaves: Leaves are oval, narrow and pointed. They exist opposite one another along their stems. Most of the leaves are often in a basal rosette.

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Spring Cinquefoil

Flower: Small clusters of buttercup-like flowers, each measuring up to 18mm across. The 5 sepals are clearly visible in the spaces between the petals. Spring Cinquefoil is an almost identical plant to Creepin... Fruit: A short-tipped achene. Leaves: Mat-forming with hairy palmate leaves, between 5 and 7 leaflets.

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Strawberry Clover

Flower: Flowerheads are densely packed with pink or light red, stalkless pea-shaped flowers. The flowers turn darker throughout the growing season. Fruit: Seedpod containing either 1 or 2 brown seeds. The seeds are similar shaped to kidney beans. Leaves: A perennial herb with compound serrated leaves. 3 leaflets. Similar to White Clover but smaller and with thicker bent back veins. The leaves are long-stalked and leaf tips are notched.

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Grey Club-rush

Flower: Reddish-brown. Long, narrow, arching or drooping branches consisting of spikelets. 2 styles per flower. Red-dotted glumes. Fruit: A brown, 3-sided nutlet. Leaves: Greyish stems. All leaves are strap-like, basal and submerged. Perennial, aquatic.

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Common Cornsalad

Flower: The flowers are pale lilac or white, each measuring about 2mm across. The 5 petals are fused. 3 stamens. Fruit: The fruit is slightly flattened and globular. It has a smooth surface with 3 ridges on it. The fruit measures about 2mm in length. The seeds ripen from May to July. Leaves: An annual, square-stemmed overwintering plant with stalkless leaves. Common Cornsalad has a basal rosette of leaves and stem leaves. The leaves are spoon-shaped with rounded tips, up to 15cm (6 inches...

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Hollyberry Cotoneaster

Flower: Clusters of small pale pink flowers. Up to 20 flowers per cluster. The flowers may look a deeper shade of pink while still in bud. The flowers have white anthers. Fruit: Clusters of round, stalked, bright red berries appear from August to November (UK). The slightly square-shaped berries reach up to 8mm in diameter and contain 5 seeds (and sometimes but rarely 4). Up ... Leaves: Simple, oval, broadly-lanceolate, pointed leaves, growing alternately along the stems. The dark green leaves turn red and orange in autumn before falling. This plant is similar-looking to Bullate Coto...

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Bullate Cotoneaster

Flower: Large clusters of pinkish-white flowers, each with 5 petals. Fruit: Clusters of bright red berries frequently bird-sown, 1 cm in size when fully grown. Leaves: A deciduous or sometimes evergreen shrub (garden escape) with leaves of a blistered appearance, hence its alternative name. The Bullate Cotoneaster is difficult to tell apart from the similar-looking ...

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Bloody Cranesbill

Flower: Bright red or purple flowers, but occasionally pink or white. The flowers have 5 dark purple-veined petals and are usually overlapping and unnotched, but occasionally they are shallowly notched. Flowe... Fruit: A drooping seed capsule borne from a nodding flower bud, sometimes turning red in autumn. Leaves: Small, deep and narrowly cut leaves consisting of 5 to 7 lobes. The leaves are hairy but not as hairy as those that appear on the flower buds and stems. The leaves often turn red in autumn.

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Dovesfoot Cranesbill

Flower: 5 notched pinkish-purple petals, up to 1.5cm across. The similar-looking Shining Cranesbill has unnotched petals. All 10 stamens have crimson-coloured anthers. The 5 sepals are shorter than the petals. Fruit: Elongated, slender seed pod, beak-shaped. Leaves: Divided into 5 to 7 wedge-shaped lobes. Borne either singly on the stem, or in opposite pairs. Long-stalked.

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Thale Cress

Flower: Flowers, 2 to 4mm in diameter. Insect-pollinated. Fruit: Cylindrical pods. Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is similar in appearance but the pods make them easy to tell apart. Leaves: A hairy annual flower with lanceolate leaves, sometimes toothed. The lower leaves form a basal rosette and the upper leaves are stalkless but do not clasp the stems.

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