We think of dunes as dry places so it is surprising to see so much moss growing on the flanks of the mounds at Llangennith. I usually associate mosses with damp places. But they also characterise undisturbed ground surfaces of many types both natural and man-made. I do not remember seeing it there three or four years ago. I wonder if this is a result of lower footfall in the dunes over the last couple of years due to fewer visitors from the Covid pandemic travel restrictions?

There were numerous tall dry stems from one of last year’s flowering plants still standing on the moss. They were quite woody and had the empty seed capsules still attached. I am not sure what they are but my best guess at the moment is Viper’s Bugloss. Does anyone else know what they are?

This is the fourth in a series following my steps on a short stroll from Hillend along the shore at Rhossili, returning via Diles Lake and the marsh side of the dunes.

12 Replies to “Dunes LRB4”

  1. Thank you for the suggestion, Nannus. I don’t think so. Lupins are not so common as a wild flower in Britain, and they have elongated seed pods that are much bigger than the capsules on these dried stems. But thank you for thinking about my problem.

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  2. Do you have a macro photograph of one of those plants? They look familiar to mee, I think I have seem them somewhere, but I don’t know what they are.

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  3. I think you might be right. The general size and shape of the plant and seed capsules is similar. I just hadn’t considered that evening primrose would grow in that sort of location. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  4. Hi, Nannus. I do have some close-ups of the plants. I tried to upload the images from my iPad to the blog to show you but unfortunately I got it wrong and it was mistakenly published on its own So I deleted it. I do not have access to my usual devices at the moment and am struggling with the new technology. However, Puzzleblume has suggested that the dried stems could be evening primrose which seems to fit the bill. I will check up on it.

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  5. On https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oenothera we can read: “In the wild, some species of evening primrose act as primary colonizers, quickly appearing in recently cleared areas. They germinate in disturbed soils, and can be found in habitat types such as dunes, roadsides, railway embankments, and waste areas. They are often casual and are eventually out competed by other species.”

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  6. Thank you so much Nannus. Sorry, for the delay in acknowledging your contribution. I have been away from home and not able to easily access the blog. The link is very useful and helps to conform the identity of the dried stems in the dunes. Evening primroses are common on wasteland around the village here too but I had not observed the seed capsules before.

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  7. Thank you, Nannus. It will be interesting to see how long the Evening Primroses persist in growing in their dune habitat. I have been visiting this particular area (Gower) for decades but had not observed them before growing on the sand dunes – which doesn’t necessarily mean they were not there.

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