More Brassicaceae

Carmina pratensis (Lady's-Smock, Cuckoo Flower)

Above and below: Carmina pratensis, is widely distributed across Eurasia, and parts of North America and africa ( It is a perennial of wet meadows, damp woods, sreamsides, wet rocks and mountains.

The stem leaves are pinnate (divided into pairs of lobes like a feather) with 9 to 25 leaflets and there is also usually a basal rosette of leaves. The flowers are arranged in a corymb and have large spreading petals. The stem is erect, sometimes with basal branches, and slightly zigzag and up to 30 to 60 cm tall. The anthers are yellow.

The pod is straight/elongated, up to 4.5 cm long, with a thick style at the apex and an obvious undivided stigma. The plant can also reproduce vegetatively by basal bulbs or buds on the leaves.

The plant is slightly hairy, especially the base of the stem, leaf stalks and leaf margins.

Lepidium didymum (Lesser Swine-Cress, Lesser Wart-Cress)

Above and below: Lepidium didymum on alluvial deposits along the bank of the River Severn. The white petals are shorter than the sepals or absent (this specimen has past flowering and is fruiting). The pods are notched at the base and apex and didymous: that is paired, breaking into two halves. The stigma is sessile (there is no style) and positioned within the apical notch on the developing fruit. There are usually 2 (up to 4) stamens (usually only two filaments bear anthers). Note that the stems are procumbent (trailing along the ground but not rooting) and spreading and fork into two branches near their ends and are some 15 to 30 cm long.

Above, the prostrate stem with reddish-pink flower buds growing among the Lepidium didymum, belongs to Polygonum aviculare (Knotgrass, family: Polygonaceae).

The leaves are generally stalked, but those near the apex of the shoot lack stalks. The leaves are somewhat fleshy and succulent and deeply divided into lobes (deeply pinnatifid). The inflorescence is a corymb (with all the flowers on stalks with the lowermost flowers on longer stalks to bring the flowers more-or-less to the same horizontal level).

The stems and pedicels are slightly hairy. Lepidium didymum is an annual/biennial and occurs on waste ground and along roadsides. It is native to South America but introduced into many parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and Oceania.

Cochlearia anglica (English Scurveygrass)

Cochlearia anglica is a biennial/perennial and is native to the British Isles, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden (see map at: and is found on muddy shores and estuaries, salt marshes and especially on the shores of tidal rivers, as here. The stems are erect or ascending (ascending: horizontal at the base becoming erect towards the apex). Cochlearia officinalis (Common Scurveygrass) is found in similar habitats and it is hard to be sure from these photographs, but the leaves that can be seen are more suggestive of C. anglica.

In C. anglica, the basal leaves are cuneate (cone-shaped, narrowing to the leaf stalk) whereas in C. officinalis they are cordate (heart-shaped) or rounded at the base. Only cuneate leaves can be seen in these photos, except for the upper stem leaves which are sometimes stalkless and then clasping the stem as seen above. The fruit capsule consists of two compartments and may be didymous; there are usually 4 seeds in each compartment. In var. gemina the replum (partition between the two halves of the fruit containing the placentae) is especially narrow; this variety is common on the Isle of Sheppey and the specimen shown here was directly across from Sheppey and sop may well be var. gemina.

Hirschfeldia incana (Hoary Mustard)

Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild Radish)

Cakile maritima (Sea-Rocket)

Cakile maritima

Matthiola incana (Hoary Stock)

Hoary Stock

Hoary Stock