Garchinger Heide revisited

Today’s some weird holiday in Bavaria. Frohleichnam? No clue what it is, but I exploit it, of course. This morning – as planned since the weekend – I went to visit the local Garchinger Heide again (remember, from this post). When I visited it last time, it was mostly barren, and only some early-flowering gems were out. Now, about 6 weeks later, there was a lot going on, although I would say that it is still not high in terms of standing biomass. In terms of diversity though, it is pretty rich. I guess both observations can be explained by the rather low-nutrient soils in the area, which generally benefit the rarer plant species, compared to the common ruderal ones, and result in not-so-high productivity per square meter.

I brought the whole family with me, as it was a nice day. But it turned out to be a bit too warm for little Rafa and the very pregnant Heike. We quickly realized that I should just do a quick run around the area, and we shouldn’t stay too long. So I hurried through the field, and took some quick snaps of things that looked cool.

I noticed that a lot of species were getting close to flowering. I’m afraid I’ll have to return in a few weeks and bore you once more.

Sorry for that!

Buckler mustard (Biscutella laevigata)
Spreading bellflower (Campanula patula)
Common milkwort (Polygala vulgaris)
Common ballflower (Globularia bisnagarica)
And its cousin, the heart-leaved globe daisy (Globularia cordifolia), which were very abundant
The greyish stuff is all Globularia
Hoary plantain (Plantago media) – a pretty impressive flower here!
According to species lists, there should be two hawkbits here (Leontodon hispidus and L. incanus). My personal guess would be the latter.
Perennial flax (Linum perenne)
Yellow mignonette (Reseda lutea)
Rose-flowered salsify (Scorzonera purpurea)
This must be some Potentilla? I have no clue. My son just says it’s a yellow flower. Life can be so easy. Edit: fellow Twitter ecologist Steven de Goede pointed out that it could be common rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium). Thanks!
Garland flowers (Daphne cneorum) – I guess I just missed the full bloom. I saw them in buds last time, and now they were mostly senescing…
Small burnet (Sanguisorba minor)
King Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum) – locally very abundant in this field.
I guess this is common kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria) – I’m one of those ‘Hey, a Lotus corniculatus‘ botanists. I don’t take much time to look in the field, and find out at home while going through the photographs that it is something else.
Field mous-ear (Cerastium arvense) – I find some of these super common carryophyllaceous plants quite pretty 🙂
Broadleaf speedwell (Veronica austriaca) – quite abundant here. There should be V. spicata here as well, but I did not see it today.
I did see another speedwell growing next to it. Probably the slender speedwell (Veronica filiformis). I don’t find it on species lists here, but this shit grows everywhere…
Greater yellow rattle (Rhinanthus angustifolius) – A very pretty plant that parasitizes on grass roots (which does not hurt to maintain diversity of non-grasses). Insects love it, too.
This should be the bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus) – but these buttercups could fool me easily
Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – super common, but I think it is pretty beautiful. I worked on it during my PhD, so it has some special place in my heart.
Some sorrel (Rumex acetosa – I guess) – not at all special, but pretty colorful and one of the few reds in the landscape.
White bedstraw I think (Galium album)
Mountain clover (Trifolium montanum)
Meadow sage (Salvia pratensis) – super common all over the place here. But a great plant for insects, and not too shabby to look at either.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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