Wiltshire Botanical Society

Welcome


Welcome to the Wiltshire Botanical Society. Our roots began in the 1980's when volunteers made a thorough and detailed survey of Wiltshire's flora, culminating in the publication of the Flora of Wiltshire in 1993. Instead of disbanding, the members joined together to form the Wiltshire Botanical Society. The society's aims are to:
  • Foster botanical knowledge and to encourage interest in our local flora
  • Increase members' knowledge and skills
  • Publicise threats to habitats and populations of wild plants
  • Undertake field meetings
  • Contribute botanical records to local and national recording schemes

Plant of the Month

June
Chalk Milkwort Polygala calcarea

A familiar species of the very best calcareous grassland, Chalk Milkwort often grows alongside Horseshoe Vetch Hippocrepis comosa on riotously colourful banks and earthworks. Normally a deep blue colour, flowers are sometimes pink or white. It differs from Common Milkwort P. vulgaris in having a scruffy near-basal rosette of leaves larger than those ascending the stems above. 
Chalk Milkwort

Wiltshire's Special Habitats and Species

A large proportion of the UKs chalk grassland is found in Wiltshire, where the vast military estate of Salisbury Plain is the single largest remaining tract of unimproved calcareous grassland in northern Europe. Other special chalk downland sites include Pewsey Downs and Coombe Bissett Down. Morgan's Hill near Calne is home to the UK's only downland site for Marsh Helleborine Epipactis palustris. The Upper Thames catchment, in the north of the county, has some of the country's best remaining hay meadows. North Meadow near Cricklade and Clattinger Farm support populations of Fritillary Fritillaria meleagris, Downy-fruited Sedge Carex filiformis and Green-winged Orchid Anacamptis morio as well as numerous other species indicative of unimproved neutral grassland. Wiltshire is a predominantly arable county and is of international importance for its populations of scarce arable 'weeds'. Among these are Venus's Looking Glass Legousia hybrida, Dense-flowered Fumitory Fumaria densiflora and Narrow-fruited Cornsalad Valerianella dentata. The county is also home to many ancient woodlands including Savernake Forest, near Marlborough, with its veteran trees and a strong population of Violet Helleborine Epipactis purpurata. Other notable woodlands include Clouts Wood, near Swindon, home to Bath Asparagus Ornithogalum pyrenaicum and Collingbourne Wood, near Tidworth, which supports Meadow Saffron Colchicum autumnalis, Wood Vetch Vicia sylvatica and Herb-Paris Paris quadrifolia.

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