‘Strawberry field’ on Belvedere industrial estate

Strawberry Clover (Trifolium fragiferum) is a rare plant in the London area, most frequently found in the lower Thames part of the capital. It is subtly different enough from the common White Clover on account of its slightly neater, pinker flower head, that it can be picked out without noticing the unmarked leaves, but is often overlooked due to the frequency of mowing suppressing the flowers. It is more obvious as it turns to seed, with the heads developing a reddish and distinctly Strawberry-like appearance, hence the vernacular name:

http://www.friendsofstanpitmarsh.org.uk/images/gallery/fullsize/gfMarsh177.jpg

There is a patch at Crossness by the bridge over the dyke near the Protected Area gate, but this is rather trampled and easily overlooked. A swathe not too far away by Hailey Road on Belvedere’s Eastern Industrial Estate, which I do not recall noticing before, was looking altogether more showy on Sunday 28th June.

Strawberry Clover, a rare London plant, in flower on Belvedere Eastern Industrial Estate. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Strawberry Clover, a rare London plant, in flower on Belvedere Eastern Industrial Estate. (Photo: Chris Rose)

The grass surrounding buildings here also supports a very large amount of Knotted Hedge Parsley, uncommon in London, but now known to be widespread in Bexley, including on sandy verges in residential areas.

Chris Rose

 

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