Ivy-leaved Bellflower; Whalenbergia hederacea

This is quite a rare species mostly found in Wales and the south west of England along with small numbers along the south coast of England and a few isolated areas in the North of England and Southern Eireland. I had never seen it but Jonathan Hickling a member of the Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland group, kindly directed me to some he had seen growing near Dunsop Bridge in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire. Only 185 miles from where I live! However not knowing of anywhere closer to hand, I made the journey. In fact the BSBI distribution map shows it as growing in a tetrad  which has Park End / Forest of Dean, so only 3 miles from where I live but finding it is another matter.

According to the BSBI it is found in three hundred and fourteen tetrads in Britain and mostly in Wales, so there are undoubtedly some growing somewhat closer to where I live. They grow in damp, wet or boggy places on acidic soils, which occur on heaths, heathy pastures, moors, open woodland and Salix carr, by streams and in flushes. and flower in July and August however the ones in Lancashire flower a little later and I saw them in mid September.

The flowers are very small less than 5 mm across, and a light blue with a slightly darker veins down each of the five petals that fuse together to make the bell. They do have a typical bellflower and the stigma which splits into three. They are held singly on long delicate stalks. Unsurprisingly the leaves have a resemblance to Ivy but are less angular than Ivy. Where I found them they were growing close to a stream and in very close cropped vegetation, there were plenty of sheep around. They were mixed in with grass moss and sorell. There was only a couple of small patches and a few loose out riders, quite difficult to spot.

 

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2 thoughts on “Ivy-leaved Bellflower; Whalenbergia hederacea

  1. Jonathan Hickling July 25, 2018 — 9:50 pm

    Looks great Alan and thanks for the credit. Just a small grammatical point it woudl be more correct to state that it is located near Dunsop Bridge within the Forest of Bowland AONB in Lancashire

    Like

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