Lesser Chickweed Stellaria pallida is almost certainly under-recorded. It is small, has a straggly, untidy appearance and is a pale yellowish-green. It's most likely to be found in inhospitable places, such as pavement edges, gravel roads and even mown grassland, where it flowers early in the year and then disappears. The sepals are generally smaller than those of S.media (less than 3mm), there are 1-3 stamens and petals are normally absent. The fruiting pedicels aren't reflexed at all, while those of S. media are curved downwards or flexuose. This species has been recorded from six sites since 2000, but five of those records have been made by me, probably because I see it regularly at a site that I monitor, and therefore notice it elsewhere.
|Stellaria pallida showing characteristic growth form|
|Seed-head of Stellaria pallida|
My last species is much more of a long-shot as it has declined significantly nationally and is now listed as Vulnerable in the UK RedList. Mousetail Myosurus minimus is a tiny annual member of the Ranunculuaceae that is characteristic of damp arable ground and cattle-poached areas (such as gateways and drinking troughs) in grazed pasture. However, it can turn up in other bare areas, and for a while there was a substantial colony alongside one of the Peterborough parkways, in an area that was regularly sprayed with herbicide. It hasn't been recorded in VC53 since 1920, but could still be about, as it's appearances are unpredictable and sporadic. The most likely places to find it would probably be cattle-grazed pasture round the Wash or along rivers and washlands, but it could turn up almost anywhere!
|Close-up of flowers|