Awned canary-grass

Phalaris paradoxa is a species of grass in genus Phalaris. Common names include awned canary-grass and hood canarygrass. The spikelets are very different from those of other members of this genus.

Annual, tufted. Culms 15–100 cm tall. Uppermost leaf sheath inflated; leaf blades 2–9 mm wide; ligule 2–8 mm. Panicle dense, narrowly oblong, 4–10 cm, base enclosed in uppermost leaf sheath. Spikelets arranged in clusters composed of 1 fertile spikelet encircled by 6 sterile spikelets, clusters falling entire, sterile spikelets sometimes reduced to club-shaped clusters of glumes. Fertile spikelet: glumes 4.5–6 mm, prominently 7–9-veined, narrowly winged, wing expanded near middle into large tooth, pale green or straw-coloured with dark green stripe above tooth, apex attenuate; sterile lemmas abortive, represented by 2 minute fleshy scales at base of fertile lemma; fertile lemma elliptic, 2.8–3.2 mm, cartilaginous, shiny, sparsely pilose toward apex. Anthers 1–1.8 mm.

Awned canary-grass Phalaris paradoxa (c) Andrew P. Chick 2020
Awned canary-grass Phalaris paradoxa (c) Andrew P. Chick 2020
Awned canary-grass Phalaris paradoxa (c) Andrew P. Chick 2020

Marsh Fritillary

With such good weather I decided to try and see the marsh fritillary butterflies that are being reported in Little Scrubs meadow at Chambers Farm Wood. This is the only Lincolnshire site for these superb butterflies, their stronghold being in the south west. They have been introduced to Chambers Farm and I had heard that there been been a good emergence over the previous few weeks with approximately c300+ individuals on the wing. As soon as I walked into the meadow I saw my first, then another and then lots!

There appears to be some forestry works being undertaken at Chambers at the moment and there are a lot of notices suggesting the car parks are closed. If visiting the site, please park sensibly…..

1FW Bat Hibernation Box

This box has a special multi-layered cavity wall provides excellent insulation while also allowing the air to permeate. This makes it ideal both for hibernation in winter and for encouraging large colonies in summer. 180 hibernating individuals have been recorded within a 1FW box. There are three internal, grooved, wooden panels which can be easily lifted out for inspection and cleaning, and the same roof panel as the 1FS. This box is ideal for use on trees or other flat surfaces, and comes with mounting blocks, aluminium nails and fixing instructions.

Schwegler boxes will last decades and are very successful at attracting inhabitants. This means decades of breeding success in real life conditions. These boxes have been developed in close collaboration with leading bat workers, nature conservation organisations, government conservation agencies and forestry experts, and are backed up by decades of experience and knowledge. The high quality light-weight concrete provides insulation against temperature fluctuations, allows air to pass through the walls, and prevents the formation of condensation which often occurs in boxes made of plastic, stone or more conventional forms of concrete.

1FW Bat Hibernation Box
1FW Bat Hibernation Box
1FW Bat Hibernation Box

Specification

* Colour: black 
* External dimensions: 38cm diameter, 50cm height
* Internal dimensions: 20cm diameter, 38cm height
* Weight: 28kg
* Material: Schwegler wood-concrete with galvanised steel hanger

Green Alkanet

I’ve recently surveyed an urban sites which was overwhelmingly dominated by green alkanet. We are considering an early cutting once it’s in flower (April) and repeating again a couple of times later in the summer.

However, the only success we have had is carefully digging it out, including the whole tap root. It spreads like wildfire on bare ground, so care is needed if you are leaving some!