Habitat: Seaside

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Fragrant Agrimony

Flower: The inflorescence is a long flower spike. The flowers are about 1cm across with notched tips. 12 stamens. 2 pistils. Fruit: Bell-shaped, burred fruit with hooks that are down-turned. The fruit is about 1cm long. Leaves: No basal leaves. The stem leaves are stalked and alternate up the stems. They are pinnate leaves with 3 to 7 pairs. Leaflets are lance-shaped and large toothed. The leaves are more deeply toothed than...

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Alexanders

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

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Marsh Arrowgrass

Flower: A flower spike. The green flowers have purple edges. Individual flowers are up to 3mm wide. Flowers have 3 petals and 6 stamens. Fruit: Narrow, erect and arrow-like. Leaves: Long and grass-like leaves with deep grooves.

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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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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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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.

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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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Thyme Broomrape

Flower: The tubular flowers are yellowish-white and tinged reddish-purple, measuring between 1.5 and 2cm in size. Sometimes the flowers are white. The stamens are hairy below and the stigmas are tinged red. T... Fruit: The fruit is a capsule. Leaves: There are no leaves. Instead Thyme Broomrape has scales. The stems are yellowish-white, tinged red or purple (like the flowers). Thyme Broomrape is also covered in many short, downy hairs.

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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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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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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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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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Wild Carrot

Flower: Our only white umbellifer with forked bracts emerging from beneath the flower. Umbel up to 7cm, folding inwards while in fruit. Often with a red flower in the centre. Fruit: The fruit is a distinctive cup-shaped, hooked and spiny umbel. The fruit can cling to the fur of passing animals and clothing, thus scattering the seeds far and wide to new locations. Leaves: The leaves are feathery; bi-pinnate or tri-pinnate.

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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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Common Chickweed

Flower: Tiny white flowers with 5 deeply notched petals. 5 green hairy sepals with membranous edges. 3-8 yellowish stamens, later turning reddish brown. Fruit: Green, hairy, oval fruits on long drooping stalks. Leaves: Light green opposite leaves, pointed and hairless. The lower leaves are stalked.

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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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Sea Club-rush

Flower: Unstalked egg-shaped spikelets, reddish-brown, leaf-like bracts much longer than flowerheads. Fruit: Brown 3-angled, oval nutlet. Leaves: Keeled grass-like leaves, often with rough edges.

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Coltsfoot

Flower: Solitary with bright yellow disc and ray florets, up to 1.5cm. The flowers are borne on long, scaly stems which rise straight from the ground. The undersides of the flower are covered in white woolly ... Fruit: A conspicuous dandelion-like, white pappus. Leaves: The leaves are round, heart-shaped or polygonal. The flowers die back before the emergence of the first leaves.

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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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Entire-leaved Cotoneaster

Flower: Up to 15mm across with spreading petals. The anthers are red to purple in colour. Approximately 20 stamens per flower. Fruit: The deep red berries are globular and contain 2 stones each. Up to 1cm across. In fruit from October to December. Bird-sown. Leaves: A sprawling shrub with tiny oblong leaves, up to 1.5cm long. The dark green, glossy leaves have inrolled margins and are blunt-tipped. A common garden species which has become widely naturalised.

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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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Seaside Daisy

Flower: Pale purple solitary flowers with yellow centres growing up to 4cm wide. Fruit: Insignificant. Leaves: Fleshy, evergreen, spoon-shaped leaves, narrowing towards the top of the plant. Occasionally toothed.

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Red-seeded Dandelion

Flower: Solitary pale yellow flowers, about 1 inch (2.5cm) across. Flowerheads are composed entirely of ray florets. Flowers have between 150 and 200 ray florets. The flowers of Red-seeded Dandelion are small... Fruit: The fruit of Dandelions are known as achenes. It consists of a single oblong seed tipped by a feathery ring of hairs. The Red-seeded Dandelion can be easily distinguished from Common Dandelion in that... Leaves: All leaves are basal. They measure up to 10 inches (25cm) long and 1.5 inches (4cm wide). Deeply pinnate, backward-pointing, triangular but narrow leaf lobes. The lobes are pointed at the tips. Perenn...

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Dittander

Flower: Clusters of small white flowers. Flowers each measure 2 to 3mm across. The sepals are white-edged. Insect pollinated. Fruit: Rounded pods, not notched. The seeds ripen in July and August. Leaves: A greyish, perennial species of pepperwort. The leaves are broadly lance-shaped and toothed. Can be found on bare ground and in saltmarshes near the sea.

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