This page will contain photos and information on all the New Species.
If we run out of new species we will use this page to display information on some of the species found in the Dene.
No new species were found during April
head fritillaries always excite attention wherever they are seen. None of the
other lovely members of the fritillaria genus can match this native wildflower
for the bizarre and unmistakable colouring of its bell-shaped flowers. They are
various shades of purple, always with a pronounced checked pattern all over,
and even the luminous white form has a faint check pattern like a watermark.
meleagrisis native to Europe and western Asia but in many places it is an endangered species that is rarely found in the
wild but is commonly grown in gardens.
the United Kingdom there is some disagreement
amongst botanists as to whether Fritillaria meleagris is a native species
or a long-established garden escapee. The plant was first described in the 16th
century by herbalist John Gerard who had only known of it as a
garden plant and it was not recorded in the wild until 1736, which has led some
to argue that it must be an escapee.However, the fact that its
habitat is usually confined to ancient hay meadows and it does not easily spread to adjoining land, leads others to the conclusion
that it is a native species which became isolated from the European population
when Britain was cut off from mainland Europe after the last glacial period.
plant was once abundant in the UK, particularly in the Thamas Valley and parts of Wiltshire,
and was collected in vast quantities to be sold as a cut flower in the markets
of London, Oxford and Birmingham.
World War II most of the ancient meadows were ploughed up and turned over to
the production of food crops, destroying much of the plant's habitat.
a popular garden plant it is now rare in the wild, although there are some
notable sites where it is still found, mainly in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Suffolk following a poll by the wild flora conservation charity Plantlife.