Well, Dear Readers, you all outdid yourselves this week, with FEARN, Sarah, Alittlebitoutoffocus and Fran and Bobby Freelove all getting 12/12, so I will have to scatter the gold stars around with complete abandon! I imagine that Mike at Alittlebitoutoffocus is feeling especially relieved, what with him living in Switzerland and all. Thank you all for having a go, and next week I am going to have to come up with something Very Tricky.
Dear Readers, here are the answers to Sunday’s quiz.
Some of these plants are very common, but others are vanishingly rare in the UK.
Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is limited to a few sites in the Midlands; it needs short, species-rich turf over chalk or limestone, and is often found on ancient earthworks. In the Austria Alps it grows in abundance.
Early marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) is not uncommon as orchids go, but it does have very specific requirements: it loves wet, marshy meadows and fens.
Round-headed rampion(Phyteuma orbiculare) is another chalk-lover, found mainly on the South Downs.
Spring gentian (Gentiana verna) is found in two spots of limestone grassland in Upper Teesdale and the Burren in Western Ireland.
Although the UK is an international hotspot for mosses and liverworts, its flora is somewhat impoverished following the Ice Ages, which scoured a lot of our plants from the landscape forever. All the more reason to hang on to what we have, I think.