Filago vulgaris in the city of Sheffield

Urban flora fascinates me. One of the reasons is that the exceptional floristic diversity found in urban habitats challenges my ideas about wildlife and conservation. We tend to think of urban development as intrinsically adverse to biodiversity, however, re-colonisation can be quick and novel habitats can be rich and surprisingly biodiverse.

This positive aspect needs of course to be weighed up against irreversible loss of some habitats such as nutrient poor mires that can disappear and are never replaced.

P1030273But I also enjoy urban floras because so many unexpected plants turn up! and because it transforms my weekly trips to the supermarket into genuine botanical expeditions. Above and below are pictures of Filago vulgaris, the common cudweed, in a waste ground in (SK337889) Walkley, Sheffield, UK, near home. I had spotted the hundreds of tiny rosettes early this spring but couldn’t work out whether it would turn out to be a Filago or Gnaphalium uliginosum, the marsh cudweed.

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2 thoughts on “Filago vulgaris in the city of Sheffield”

  1. Hi Nick
    Always nice to know I’m not the only one! Thanks for writing and keep me posted on you urban findings.
    Cheers
    Ambroise

  2. Hi Amboise.

    Enjoying your botanical blogs, and I share your feelings about urban flora. Some of my most interesting finds have been during lunch time breaks from work in industrial estate areas.

    Last week I wandered around the Grimsbury Green area of Banbury for half an hour and was pleased to see some fine specimens of Lactuca virosa and Carduus acanthoides as well as more common wasteland flora.

    Best regards

    Nick Barber

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