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Very Rare Plants on Stanpit Marsh

We hope to supply photos of each of these plants.

Go to Photographs with Descriptions of Plants & information about other surveys of plants found on Stanpit Marsh

Therophyte community

Location:
Compartments: Grimmery Bank, Crouch Hill.
Area: < 0.1 ha.

Description and management rationale:
The drought-prone sandy soils locally support a suite of plants that aestivate. That is, they survive the summer as seeds or bulbous propagules. Many of these are scarce nationally because they cannot compete with more vigorous species in less stressful habitats. A certain amount of trampling assists in keeping the habitat open.

Typical species are Poa bulbosa, Trifolium glomeratum, T.suffocatum, T.scabrum, Moenchia erecta. These plants can survive in quite small patches along footpath margins where the soil is free draining

Dwarf spikerush

Location
Compartments: Parky Meade Rail (map 5)
Area: < 0.1 ha

Dwarf spikerush forms part of the special interest of the SSSI.

Description and management rationale
Dwarf spikerush (Eleocharis parvula) is a very rare plant in Britain. It is classed as vulnerable in the new Red Data Book (Cheffings & Farell 2006) and is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (schedule 8). It has been monitored intermittently in Parky Meade Rail (Woodhead 1998, 2003) and briefly surveyed in 2006 (appendix 11).

There is a stable and extensive population on the south side of Parky Meade Rail on substrate that is exposed at extreme low tides. This is the Eleocharis parvula saltmarsh community, SM13 in the NVC. Colonies on the north side, by Great Spires were not found in 2006 and the colonies in the lowest reach of Purewell Stream have disappeared except for a very few plants surviving amongst the taller vegetation invading the left bank of the stream as it enters the bay.

The lowest level at which E.parvula can survive is not known for certain, but is expected to be the low water springs. With rising sea levels it is likely that the colony will be lost from its present site within 30 years and there is a risk it will be lost from the harbour altogether if it cannot migrate up-stream. A confounding factor is that at Stanpit it only grows in gravel based substrates. With rising water levels, any material accumulating on the bed will probably be silty or organic in nature. This could smother the plants, even if water levels are suitable.

Dwarf spike rush is the only red data book plant on the marsh, requiring a specific habitat which is itself scarce and declining and the only protected plant species. A number of other rare and scarce plants are to be found. To some extent their management is incorporated into the prescription for the habitat in which they grow.

 

Scarce Plants on Stanpit Marsh

 

botanical name

vernacularname

location

habitat

10km
sq º

Eleocharis parvula

dwarf spike-rush

Parky Meade Rail

upper limit of tidalinfluence, avoiding strongly saline areas.

10

Alopecurus × plettkei

hybrid foxtail

South Marsh

damp grassland near thesea

9

Epipactis phyllanthes var.vectensis

Isle of Wight helliborine

Waterloo stream

sparsely vegetated, shadedplaces

90*

Alopecurus bulbosus

bulbous foxtail

South Marsh

coastal grazing marsh

58

Poa bulbosa

bulbous meadowgrass

Grimmery bank

well drained and trampledsoil

58

Puccinellia fasciculata

Borrer’s saltmarsh grass

East  Marsh

doubtful

68

Trifolium.suffocatum

suffocated clover

Crouch Hill

well drained and trampledsoil

75

Althea officinalis

marsh mallow

North Scrubs, Ship inDistress; East Marsh

Transition zone betweenthe upper saltmarsh and freshwater habitats. Intolerant of grazing.

77

Limosella aquatica

mudwort

Priory Marsh

muddy edges of pools andditches

80

Vulpia ciliata

bearded fescue

Crouch Hill,
Grimmery Bank

disturbed sandy soil

80

Lotus subbiflorus

hairy birdsfoot trefoil

North Scrubs

dry, open grassland onrelatively sheltered banks

84

Parapholis incurva

 

doubtful

 

85

Crassula tillea

mossy stonecrop

1980

well drained and trampledsoil

91

Trifolium glomeratum

clustered clover

Grimmery bank

well drained and trampledsoil

94

Moenchia erecta

upright chickweed

Crouch Hill

well drained and trampledsoil

182

Ruppia maritima

beaked tassel weed

Central and Grimmerymarshes

shallow water in coastallakes, pools on saltmarshes and ditches near the sea.

208

Stellaria palustris

marsh stitchwort

Priory Marsh

doubtful

212

Ranunculus baudotii

brackish water crowfoot

Central and Grimmerymarshes

brackish pools and rills

234

Parapholis strigosa

hard grass

1994

doubtful

291

Puccinellia distans

reflexed saltmarsh grass

Central and East  marshes

doubtful

323

Isolepis cernua

slender clubrush

1980

doubtful

323

Atriplex litoralis

 

1980

doubtful

333

Apium graveolens

wild celery

Mother Siller’s Channel,Speller’s Point

Sea-walls, beside brackishditches and the uppermost saltmarshes

348

Carduus tenuiflorus

slender thistle

Grimmery bank

dry, coastal grasslands

389

Anthriscus caucalis

bur chervil

South Marsh

doubtful

423

Oenanthe lachenalii

parsley water dropwort

Central Marsh

saltmarsh

427

Eleocharis uniglumis

slender spike-rush

Priory Marsh

brackish grassland andbase-rich, wet meadows

435

Butomus umbellatus

flowering rush

Purewell Stream, PrioryMarsh

At the edges of ditchesand swamps; often eutrophic

478

Hippuris vulgaris

mares-tail

Central Marsh

at edge of and ponds, inswamps

1054

            †  Where the location is not clear the date of the last record is entered in this column
*  No data available for the subspecies, this is the number for all forms of the species
º The number if 10km national grid squares the species has been recoded as native since 1987 in the New Atlas
        (Preston et al. 2002)

More information about surveys of other plants found on Stanpit Marsh