East Lothian Wildflower Walk

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Nine Caley members and friends met with Stan de Prato at Longniddry Bents car park 2 last Tuesday evening for a fascinating, informative and fun insight into the many and varied wildflower plants along this part of the East Lothian coast. Anna Buxton and Lynn Corrigan avidly noted more than 60 plant varieties between them, with many native wildflowers and some garden escapees such as Hesperis matronalis (Dame’s violet) and a display of 4ft high woolly mint.

Dactylorhiza purpurella

After exploring Longniddry Bents, and seeing a cinnabar moth (which wasn’t in the least disturbed by our presence) we headed to Aberlady and walked into the reserve across the wooden bridge. Stan was keen to show us Dactylorhiza purpurella, the Northern marsh orchid. They were smaller and more stunted than usual due to the weather conditons at the start of the year, but still a delight to see.




Carduus nutans



Some of the other highlights included Carduus nutans (the musk thistle), just starting to develop it’s flowerhead and to nod, hence it’s other common name of nodding thistle; striking stands of weld, Reseda luteola; the beautiful royal blue flowers of Pentaglottis sempervirens (green alkanet); Solanum dulcamara (woody nightshade), enigmatically growing along a mossy tree branch and the birdsong of two larks.




Our thanks to Stan for sharing his time and knowledge with us. Please see the plant list below for all of the plants we saw on the night. As you can see, we weren’t short of things to look at.

If you were unable to attend this walk, don’t worry!  Stan will be leading another walk very soon.  This walk will be around Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, a venue easily accessible by public transport.  The walk will take place on 7th July at 9am.  Meet at the big car park.  Donations will be taken on the day.  For details of this and other Caley events, please go to the Events page of the website.

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