Within the parish boundary, a great diversity of plant and tree life can be seen. To list each species would need a volume of its own. It is much easier to comment on the more unusual and rarer ones.
In the woodlands of the Teme Valley, Small-leaved Lime can be found, an indication of ancient woodland. The ground flora includes swaths of Bluebell.
Sanicle : a short hairless perennial with tiny whitish pink flowers, in flower from May to July.
Herb Paris : a difficult plant to find, is often in the damper parts of the wood. The flowers of the Herb Paris are yellow-green, starlike, flowering during May-June.
Nettle-leaved Bellflower : (a Campanula), This beautiful plant can be found in Kingswood and in the woodlands of Berrow Hill.
Birds Nest Orchid : is a golden honey-coloured plant that does not rely on chlorophyll containing cells but is dependent of a mycorrhiza fungus, thus sunlight is of little importance to it.
Toothwort : another parasitic woodland plant, pink-coloured, that feeds on the root system of Hazel.
Amongst these are the Orchids. In Martley, the main areas these plants are found in are along the hill ridge between Penny Hill and Collins Green. Here as many as eight species can be seen, from the Common Spotted to the more unusual Bee Orchids, the beautiful Pyramidal Orchid,Butterfly Orchids and the shade loving Helleborine’s. Rock Rose or Helianthemum’s and Carline Thistles. Autumn Gentian and Wild Thyme.Dyers Greenweed can be seen on the Penny Hill reserve.
Aquatic and Marginal Plants
Along the Teme, Purple Loosestrife and Common Figwort are found. Between May and August the highly scented Dame’s Violet flowers, it is a member of the Cabbage family.
Local ponds have White Water Lily, Celery-leaved Buttercup and various species of Potamogeton’s ( Pond weeds). At St. Peters pool, a plant with the strange name, Trifid Bur Marigold can be seen from June to October. On the mud edges of the shingle beaches of the Teme a small plant called Marsh Cudweed is found, its botanical name is Gnaphalium uliginosum, far too ugly for such a lovely flower.
Meadow and other Plants.
Cowslips are common in some areas.
Moon Daisies line the verges of the main road and lanes. In the damper corners of grass fields, Cuckoo Flowers, (Cardamine pratensis), abound. On Berrow Hill, there are large numbers of Wild Daffodils to be seen.
Snowdrops are common on the edges of a number of woodlands..
Goatsbeard can be seen growing on the roadside verge between Martley and Laughern Brook Bridge.
Red Bartsia grows on the open fields at Collins Green.
Greater Mullein, one of the tallest wild flowers, can be seen on open unused ground. This is a tall woolly plant with rows of yellow flowers. A local name for this plant was ‘ Hags Taper’ in the belief that witches would light the dead stems, to find their way at night.
There are many more plants to be found; an average botanist should come up with more than 400 species in the parish during the year.
By kind permission of Brian Draper M.B.E
Last updated 14/9/05