Middlesex 14th May 2022
led by
Dr Mark. A. Spencer

We'll explore Limehouse basin and Limehouse Cut, recording for the London Natural History Society’s London Flora Project. The Limehouse area of London is one of the city’s most urbanised areas with a deep industrial heritage. Limehouse Cut, opened in 1770, is London’s oldest canal. This walk will be seeking to find some of the survivors its pre-industrial past, such as Alisma plantago-aquatica (Water-plantain), Apium graveolens (Wild Celery), Chenopodiastrum hybridum (Maple-leaved Goosefoot), Potamogeton pusillus (Lesser Pondweed) and Stachys palustris (Marsh Woundwort). However, the area is of greatest interest for the diversity of neophytes growing in it.  Garden escapes and the waifs and strays of commerce and industry are frequent; these include: Angelica archangelica (Garden Angelica), Bidens frondosa (Beggarticks), Colutea arborescens (Bladder-senna), Dysphania ambrosioides (Mexican-tea), Galinsoga quadriradiata (Shaggy Soldier), Hirschfeldia incana (Hoary Mustard), Melilotus albus (White Melilot), M. indicus (Small Melilot), Mirabilis jalapa (Marvel-of-Peru), Nicandra physalodes (Apple-of-Peru), Rumex cristatus (Greek Dock), Senecio inaequidens (Narrow-leaved Ragwort), Solanum chenopodioides (Tall Nightshade) and Solanum nigrum subsp. schultesii (Black Nightshade). At the mouth of Limehouse Basin, facing the Thames we may find Sagina maritima (Sea Pearlwort), Trifolium pannonicum (Hungarian Clover) and other coastal halophytes; these species have been moving upstream as the salinity of the Thames increases, yet another subtle indicator of our changing environment. Suitable for beginners and experienced botanists.

Meet: Limehouse DLR (TQ361810) at 11:00 am.