Habitat: Sea cliffs

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6

Alexanders

Flower: Yellow-green umbel. Fruit: Globular, ridged, turning black on ripening. Leaves: Yellowish-green bluntly toothed, divided and glossy.

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Wild Asparagus

Flower: Minute greenish-white or yellowish-white tubular flowers, appearing in 1's or 2's along the stems. Fruit: The fruit is a small red berry. Leaves: A long-lived perennial plant with no true leaves. Bluish-green, needle-like leaves in whorls along the stems. Leaves usually measure no longer than 2cm long.

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Goldilocks Aster

Flower: Loose, erect clusters of bright golden yellow flowers. They measure no larger than 1.8cm across. The yellow stigmas are prominent. Very late flowering. Fruit: The fruit is an achene. An achene is a type of dry, one-seeded fruit. Leaves: Numerous, linear, lance-shaped leaves. Unlike the similar looking Golden Samphire (Inula crithmoides), the leaves are not fleshy.

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Sea Aster

Flower: Pale blue/purple, sometimes white or yellow. The flower consists of 5 stamens and 2 carpels. Fruit: A flattened, hairy yellow-brown fruit. Leaves: A biennial or perennial plant with thin, dark green leaves. The leaves have a prominent central vein. Similar-looking to a Michaelmas Daisy.

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7

Sea Beet

Flower: Slender green spike of tiny petalless flowers, sometimes turning red. Fruit: The flowers form hard clusters at their bases which then turn into the multi-seeded fruit. Leaves: Dark green, wavy, leathery and shiny. The lower leaves are larger, have very curly edges and are triangular in shape. The upper leaves are narrower than the lower.

Videos:

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2

Clustered Bellflower

Flower: A compact clustered flowerhead of violet-blue, unstalked, bell-shaped or star-shaped flowers. The petals are blunt-tipped and curve outwards. A faint dark violet vein runs through the centre of each p... Fruit: The fruit is a many-seeded capsule. Leaves: Dark green, narrow, lance-shaped leaves (or slightly heart-shaped), half clasping the stem. The leaves alternate along the stems on both sides. The lower leaves are triangular and stalked. Occasionall...

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Cut-leaved Blackberry

Flower: Flowers can be white or pink. The petals are deeply cut into 3 lobes at their ends. Fruit: The fruit is a black berry. The fruits are similar in appearance to blackberry. Leaves: A scrambling, half-evergreen shrub with very easy to distinguish leaves. The leaves are deeply cut. Prickly stems. A garden escape species.

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7

Blackthorn

Flower: White, 5 petals, numerous stamens containing gold pollen. Flowers appear before the leaves emerge. Fruit: Like a diminutive plum with a bluish-black waxy coating. Contains a large stone in the centre. The fruit are called 'sloes'. Leaves: Short-stalked, small and slender, pointed oval leaves, alternate and finely toothed. Greyish green beneath with hairy veins.

Video: Blackthorn filmed at Coppull, Lancashire (UK), on the 8th April 2022.

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Virgin's Bower

Flower: Star-shaped white flowers. Fruit: The fruit is a green achene which is a kind of dry, one-seeded fruit. The fluffy seedheads ripen from October to January. Pollinated by flies and bees. Leaves: A deciduous climber with dark green 2-pinnate leaves, similar in appearance to Traveller's Joy (Clematis vitalba). In leaf from March to November.

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Brookweed

Flower: Flower spikes (racemes). Each flower has an inward bending long stalk and is about 2 to 4mm across. The bend in the stalk has a tiny, pointed bract. Triangular but blunt-pointed sepals. Orange heart-s... Fruit: Green globular fruit capsules containing many reddish-brown seeds. The seeds ripen from July to August. Leaves: A hairless, normally unbranched flower with pale green, fleshy, upright, spoon-shaped leaves. The oval leaves remain close to the stems. The basal leaves are the largest. The stem leaves are alternate...

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Butcher's Broom

Flower: Pale yellow or green flowers, up to 5mm across. Sometimes purple-spotted around the edges. The flowers grow out from the centre of the cladodes (see the section on leaf details). 3 petals and 3 sepals. Fruit: A red berry. The seeds are distributed by birds and ripen from August to March. Leaves: Butcher's Broom has no leaves. The leaf-like structures are actually flattened stems. These structures are called 'cladodes'. This plant is a low-growing evergreen shrub with oval cladodes that end in...

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Spanish Broom

Flower: Bright yellow, pea-like flowers, up to 2.5cm long. Pollinated by insects. Fruit: Black pea-like pods which are hairy all over and up to 10cm long. The seeds ripen from August to October. Leaves: The leaves appear very sparsely on the rush-like shoots. The latin name 'junceum' means rush-like which is a reference to the stems of Spanish Broom. The leaves are a maximum of 3cm in length and up t...

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Bedstraw Broomrape

Flower: The flowers are yellowish and tinged purple. Purple, 2-lobed stigma. Downy stamens. Fruit: The fruit is an egg-shaped capsule, 1.2cm long. Leaves: Ovate to lance-shaped leaves, up to 2.5cm (1 inch) in length. Parasitic on Hedge Bedstraw (Galium album).

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5

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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Purple Viper's Bugloss

Flower: The purple tubular flowers appear in branched spikes. They each measure up to 3cm in size. Similar in appearance to Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare) but is a shorter plant with 2 protruding stamens pe... Fruit: Wrinkled nutlets. Leaves: Lance-shaped leaves, rough and very hairy, up to 14cm long. The side veins are prominent. Annual or biennial.

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Wild Cabbage

Flower: The inflorescence is a long spike of pale yellow flowers. Pollinated by bees. Fruit: The fruit is a long-beaked, cylindrical pod. The seeds ripen from July to September. Leaves: A biennial or perennial plant which is woody at the base. The greyish-green, waxy leaves are similar in appearance to a cultivated cabbage. The leaves clasp their stems.

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6

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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2

Sea Campion

Flower: 5 white overlapping petals with broader sepals and often solitary, up to 2.5cm. Sometimes tinged slightly pink. Fruit: A capsule with down-turned teeth. Leaves: Dark green, smooth and waxy leaves, forming a carpet over the ground. Arranged in opposite pairs along the stem.

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Sea Carrot

Flower: Small white flowers, appearing inside saucer-shaped umbels. The bracts are long and branching. Fruit: Cup-shaped fruit. Leaves: The hairy leaves are dull green, darker and more fleshy than that of Wild Carrot (Daucus carota). Sea Carrot is also a stouter plant than the similar looking Wild Carrot. Unlike Wild Carrot, it is onl...

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Small-flowered Catchfly

Flower: Flowers are yellowish-white or pink. The tips of the petals are slightly notched. Pollinated by bees, butterflies and moths. Fruit: The fruit is a capsule whose seeds ripen from July to October. Leaves: A stickily hairy annual flower. The leaves are broadly lance-shaped and pointed. The leaves are in opposite pairs up the stems. Each leaf measure up to 3.5cm in length. The variety of Small-flowered C...

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5

Spotted Cat's-ear

Flower: Pale yellow, solitary flowers. The bracts are sometimes black-tipped. Up to 4.5cm in diameter. 5 stamens. Fruit: A single-seeded fruit with many, fine white hairs at the end. The seeds ripen between July and September. Leaves: A hairy perennial with a basal rosette of well-toothed leaves. The central vein is reddish. Usually blotched, dark purple or black. This is our only Cat's-ear or Hawkbit which can sometimes bear leave...

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Slender Centaury

Flower: Flowers appear in clusters. The star-shaped flowers are usually white but may be pink. The flowers are denser than those of the similar looking Lesser Centaury (Centaurium pulchellum). Fruit: The fruit is a 2-parted capsule. Leaves: The leaves are elliptical in shape, appearing in opposite pairs along the erect stem. The leaves each measure up to 2.5cm (1 inch) in length and 1cm wide. In the UK, Slender Centaury can be found at o...

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Perennial Centaury

Flower: Pink flowers with bright yellow anthers. The flowers usually appear in clusters but are sometimes seen solitary. Fruit: The fruit is a many-seeded, cylindrical capsule. Leaves: The leaves are roundish and stalked, in opposite pairs up the stems. UK's only perennial species of Centaury.

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Yellow Centaury

Flower: Yellow Centaury is late flowering in the year. Unlike other UK Centaury species, the Yellow Centaury has only 4 petals and has yellow flowers. The solitary flowers only open in sunshine and measure be... Fruit: A long and slender, many-seeded fruit capsule. Leaves: An erect and slender annual flower with scarcely branched stems. The narrow, pointed leaves are slender and untoothed. Most often encountered on heathland near the coast, in particular on bare sandy o...

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Roman Chamomile

Flower: The flowers resemble large white daisies. Flowers measure between 1.8 and 2.5cm across. White-edged, green bracts. Pollinated by flies, bees and beetles. Fruit: An oblong, seed-like fruit. The seeds ripen from June to October. Leaves: A hairy, mat-forming perennial plant with finely divided leaves and thread-like leaflets.

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