Flowers and Plants on Romney Marsh
There are many varieties of Evening Primrose; this is the Common Evening Primrose that grows in the wild. It is a hardy plant that likes full exposure to the sun.
It is a biennial (this means it takes 2 years to complete its biological life cycle) and grows to approximately 1.5m tall.
The fragrant yellow flowers have only 4 petals and are approxmately 5cm across. The blooms open at dusk, hence their name! They start as pale yellow, becoming more golden as they age through the night and they close by sunrise. They flower in the summer and autumn.
The Red Valerian plant is originally from the Mediterranean; it was introduced into gardens in the 17th century, however, it 'escaped' and became commonplace in the wild. it can be seen growing on the roadside, railways, rocks and urban wasteland. It is very distinctive with its cluster of small deep pink flowers on a tall stem.
It is perennial (this means that it lives for more than 2 years).
The individual flowers, with 5 fused petals, are only about 2cm long and 5mm across, but they flower in dense clusters forming an almost cylindrical head. It flowers from April to Ocober.
The Red Valerain blooms have a strong and unpleasant scent, but they are a good source of nectar for bees, butterflies and moths.
Although an attractive plant, it can become invasive and cause considerable damage, with roots that can be hard to get rid of.
The Red Valerian can be seen across the Romney Marsh area
Viper's-bugloss is a hairy plant with dense spikes of bright blue, funnel-shaped flowers. It has upright spikes of vivid blue flowers in dense clusters; hairy, spotted stems; and narrow, pointed leaves.
It is found all across Romney Marsh, particularly on chalk grassland, sand dunes, cliffs and disturbed ground It is in bloom from May to September and provides food for a range of insects, including Buff-tailed and Red-tailed Bumblebees, Large Skipper and Painted Lady butterflies, Honeybees and Red Mason Bees.