|Usually flowering in June, the mild weather has lead the Common Knapweed, Centaurea nigra, to flowering at the start of February|
A recent comment on my "Guillemots and the Climate Change Mistake" post by Tony Powell led me to his wonderful naturestimeline blog. It is concerned with documenting phenological (the timing of life-history) events in the UK among other things, and inspired me to examine any such events happening in Cork, Ireland.
|Meadow Buttercup, Rannunculus acris|
Due to the mildness of the winter, I examined a public walkway along the estuary of the river Lee for signs plants in flower. It revealed eight plants in flower on this, the first of February (listed below).
|Plant Name||Common Name||Flowering Date|
|Anthriscus sylvestris||Cow Parsley||1st Feb||April|
|Centaurea nigra||Common Knapweed||1st Feb||June|
|Medicago lupulina||Black Medick||1st Feb||April|
|Rannunculus acris||Meadow Buttercup||1st Feb||April|
|Senecio jacobaea||Ragwort||1st Feb||June|
|Trifolium pratense||Red Clover||1st Feb||May|
|Ulex europaeus||Common Gorse||1st Feb||February|
|Vicia sepium||Bush Vetch||1st Feb||April|
Of these, only Common Gorse (Ulex europaeus) has an average flowering date usually near this time. The expected flowering dates for the others ranges from April to June. In addition, four more plants were seen to be in bud and on the verge of flowering: Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), Common St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), Cowslip (Primula veris) and Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare).
|Bush Vetch, Vicia sepium|
*Average flowering dates from Sterry, 2004, Collins Complete Guide to Irish Wildlife