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Wild flowers

Alexandra Park is home to a large variety of wild flowers as well ornamentals and planted wild flowers. You can always find something flowering... A lot of pictures here.

There is also an attempt at a systematic list here.

As reported in our November 2015 Newsletter, we have possibly the first report of a Western Sword Fern (a native of North America) growing wild in London. Picture.

Members Winter Flower Walk

Good weather for our Flower Walk beginning.... We admired the Snowdrops by Park Information Centre and Hebe with Viburnum tinus before moving off into the Railway Orchard to spot one of the first Cherry Laurels in flower.

Walking anticlockwise around The Grove, we came to the crocuses by the Parkland Walk exit. Another little patch of Snowdrops and then some Cow Parsley in flower.

Mahonia was flowering by the Little Dinosaurs. We then did a little trek past the Springfield Orchard to discover some of the first Forsythia flowers. Here one of the participants caught sight of a 
flower not on the original list.... .... a late Bramble.

Walking along the Lime Avenue we passed a couple of early Lesser Celandines.

Turning left we walked back past the Information Centre and saw some Hebe and Leatherleaf Viburnum and also Viburnum davidii.

We turned left to look at a Garrya eliptica with its lovely dangling flowering before doubling back and spotting an odd Brachyglottis flower.

Crossing the road we spotted some Cyclamen.

Then the route was up towards the Palace passing some ChickweedHazel and Ash flowers before crossing the road and ticking off Shepherds Purse.

Daisies and Dandelions had been appreciated by this point.

The skies turned black and hail poured from the sky turning the ground white for a brief few minutes. We ended the walk below the BBC Tower with White DeadnettleRed Deadnettle and Annual Mercury.

March Members Walk, 2017

On the hunt for wild flowers by the Bedford Road entrance.... Too late for crocuses and snowdrops (still to be seen in The Grove).

What did we see then? Lesser Celandine coming to its peak. Colts FootShepherds Purse and a great favourite the Primrose. To add to flowers on flowers, we also saw flowers on trees Ash TreeWych Elm and male and female Goat Willow flowers.

Photo shows people studying the white Sweet Violet flowers.

Members' Wild Flower Walk, July 2016

A lot of people turned up for this walk so maybe it was not such a good experience for those who came....

We followed a route along the Lower Road with participants trying to find any wild flowers actually in flower.

They were given a list of what might be seen, but with no illustrations. Some attendees were beginners and some more expert than the person leading the walk, but most seemed spot some of the flowers along the route.

Lots of small flowers, but among the larger, more spectacular ones were Rosebay WillowherbMallow and Bristly Ox-Tongue.

The list grouped the flowers by family to try show what similar flowers have in common. e.g. Knapweed flower looks like Thistle flower.

The last plant seen was a Red Campion (pictured). 

Thanks to all that came along and makes us think that maybe a Beginners Wild Flower Walk might be a good idea....

Will add a list of the Wild Flowers seen soon.....

March 2016 Members Walk

Splendid Spring weather for our Early Spring Wild Flower Walk. About 20 enthusiasts of all ages gathered by the Gas Hut to start our walk.

We were given a list of the plants to spot and pictures to help us, but the sneaky thing was that the pictures didn't have the names on.

Walk participants were asked to spot flowers as we walked around a small circuit of the Park. One of the youngsters spotted a Dandelionand we were up and running. Quickly Field Speedwell was ticked off along with Red Dead-Nettle before we had gone more than a few paces.

On right of the Lower Road, we ticked off Shepherds Purse, Groundsel, Lesser CelandineDaisy and Cow Parsley and on the left we observed a nice bunch of Primroses.

Walking further along, we came across a small euphorbia called Petty Spurge then we took the steps down towards the Alexandra Park Club. Turning left at the bottom along the old racecourse the group were enjoying the stroll so much that they walked straight past a nice little surprise of some Snowdrops still in flower. A little further along was one last minute female hazel flower.

Turning right along the new path we saw Blackthorn flowering, assuring us of sloes to come, before coming across a nice bunch of Colts Foot growing near the water. A Hawthorn next to it was pointed out which had been flowering since late January.

We reversed past the Nature Pond, and just managed to see one or two Goat Willow flowering and making their common name of pussy willow very evident.

Back at top the leader forgot to point out the White Dead-Nettle(shame). 

We then finished by taking our lives in our hands and crossing Alexandra Palace Way. Just over the road is a warm, South facing, grassy slope where we saw the last group of flowers - Scentless MayweedCommon ChickweedSticky Mouse-Ear and Common Whitlow Grass together with Gorse with its vibrant yellow flowers.

Wild Flower Talk, February 2016

We were privileged to have renowned botanist, David Bevan come and talk to the Friends on Wild Flowers of London.

He pointed out that London is a hot spot for wild flowers in more ways than one. The higher temperature allows plants that wouldn't otherwise survive to prosper.

David took us on a tour from central London out to the leafy fields of Harrow...

Our speaker explained that the blitz bomb sites post war, with their explosion of new plants, were the spark that enthused a whole generation of London Botanists. One good example that is still to be found in many places is buddleia.

We heard the story of the Oxford Ragwort coming to London by following the train lines. It loved the clinker which was similar to the volcanic stone of its native Mount Etna.

In our borough of Haringey, three species of orchid have been known including the Common Spotted Orchid. Have you ever spotted one?

David mentioned that now is the time to look out for early flowering Colt's Foot (pictured by the cricket pitch).

May 2015 Members Walk

On same day as last year, we held a Wildflower walk starting form the Park Information Centre.

We had a pre-prepared list of wild flowers to find on the walk and enjoyed ticking them off as they were found.

This time, instead of walking around The Grove we went down to the Paddock Car Park. The edge of the car park was especially good for producing a number of wild flowers that enjoyed the poor soil and habitat edge.

We spotted several plants not on our list including salsify and the small flowers of cleavers.

May 2014 Members' Walk

We had our fourth members' walk on the evening of Thursday, 15th May in The Grove.

We started with a patch of mauve honesty by the railway bridge at the Dukes Avenue entrance.

The largest and most impressive Spring flowers out was Queen Anne's Lace (Cow Parsley) with its delicate white flowers swathing wild areas of The Grove. 

This was contrasted with similarly flowered, but with more thuggish leaves of the Hogweed. 

Three different types of speedwell were observed as well as the green alkanet (which is blue).

The walk was well attended with about 15 people joining us and some us adjourned for a pleasant drink on a clear evening on the terrace of the Bar and Kitchen.

A list of the wildflowers seen on the walk and links to pictures taken of each one in Alexandra Park.