Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

REMINDER: Upcoming events

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Wednesday 19 May, Around the Scope, walk led by Roy Vickery, Wandsworth Common, starting at 7 p.m. – further details on the Events page of this website.

Report:  About eight people turned up and spent about 90 minutes wandering around the area and discussing some of the plants seen.  These included ivy, Hedera helix, which appears to be doing exceedingly well and is possibly forcing out  herbaceous ground flora in woodland areas, and purple moor-grass, Molinia caerulea, which until the 1960s covered much of the area, but has been shaded out by trees, and only survives on two carefully maintained sites.  We greatly benefitted from the presence of Philip Boys, who has lived near the Common and taken an interest in its history for about 70 years.  The following day a participant  remarked: ‘What a terrific walk last evening – such fun and incredibly informative’.

Friday 21 May: Ivy and other trees, Margravine Cemetery, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, starting at 11 a.m. – further details on the Events page of this website.

Report:  The two people booked for this walk both failed to turn up, possibly discouraged by the blustery weather.

Also Saturday 22 May:  Plant Galls on Tooting Common, London Borough of Wandworth, led by Roy Vickery and Tommy Root of the British Plant Gall Society, 10.30 a.m. – c. 12 noon – booking necessary, see

Report:  Six of us gathered at 10.30 a.m. to wander around the Common looking for galls, four people had to leave early, but we continued until about 3 p.m.  Oak apples, caused by the gall-wasp Biorhiza pallida, and traditionally worn on Oak Apple Day, 29 May, which are usually scarce on the Common, were easy to find this year,  Currant-galls, caused by the sexual generation of the gall-wasp Andricus grossulariae, were abundant on Turkey oak, Quercus cerris, one tree of which also had two galls caused by the sexual generation of Andricus lucidus (see photo).

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