Wednesday, August 09, 2017

autumn hawkbit

Autumn Hawkbit on a dry day (Frome, 5th August 2017)

Autumn Hawkbit, Scorzoneroides autumnalis, formerly Leontodon autumnalis. Sw: Höstfibbla.


    in the individual case
a starched confection shirt
             That was us!

That was the old rolling sea with its gold and mottoes

No-one has done wonders here

Who broke the steady branch that rests

respective situations

my eye, your eye

it was just that we started late

the tissues that are soaked with sea

and to sustain
falling with such relieving force
as to bear all that

so you would cloak your mirth

and I still believe it


Autumn Hawkbit has now been banished from the large genus Leontodon and, along with a dozen other species worldwide,  placed in a new genus Scorzoneroides. (Peter Sell and Gina Murrell comment that Scorzoneroides appears to have at least as much in common with Hypochaeris as with Leontodon.)  Our other common hawkbits (Rough Hawkbit and Lesser Hawkbit) remain in Leontodon.

Autumn Hawkbit is one of the most commonplace of flowers in lowland Britain (though nevertheless very welcome because of its fresh appearance in late summer at a time when so much other floral colour is becoming rather scrappy). The flowers look like dandelions but a bit smaller, the stems are branched, and the "clocks" are brown rather than white.

However, it does have a number of varieties that grow in rather more exciting places than Swindon.

According to Den virtuella floran:

Huvudvarieteten vanlig höstfibbla (var. autumnalis) har gleshåriga eller nästan kala holkfjäll och djupt flikiga blad. Svart höstfibbla (var. taraxaci (L.) Hartm.) har svarthåriga holkfjäll och nästan hela blad. Gulbrun höstfibbla (var. asperior Wahlenb.) är grovt byggd med glesflikiga blad och   brunhåriga holkfjäll. Kal höstfibbla (var. salinus (Aspegren) Lange) har kala holkfjäll, vanligen ogrenad stjälk och grunt flikade blad.     ... Varieteten svart höstfibbla (var. taraxaci) är nordlig och växer på snölegemark, stränder och dryashedar i fjälltrakterna. Gulbrun höstfibbla (var. asperior) är också nordlig och växer i videsnår och ängsmarker i fjällen.

Translation: The main variety, Common Höstfibbla (var. autumnalis) has sparsely-hairy or nearly hairless involucre-bracts and deeply lobed leaves. Black Höstfibbla (var. taraxaci (L.) Hartm.) has black-hairy involucre-bracts with the leaves almost entire. Golden-brown Höstfibbla (var. asperior Wahlenb.) is a coarser variety with sparsely-lobed leaves and brown-hairy involucre-bracts. Bald Höstfibbla (var. salinus (Aspegren) Lange) has glabrous involucre-bracts, a usually unbranched stem and shallowly-lobed leaves.    ... The variety Black Höstfibbla (var. taraxaci) is northern and grows in the fells in snow-layers. lake-shores and Dryas-heath.  Golden-brown Höstfibbla (var. asperior) is also northern and grows in willow-scrub and grassy places in the fell region.

Sell and Murrell (Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol 4) describe eleven varieties. Here's a summary list:

1. Var. salina . Grows in salt-marshes. (see above)
2. Var. simplex.  Leaves deeply divided almost to midrib with narrow lateral lobes. Grows on heaths, moors, dunes, shingle.
3. Var. nigrolanata. Dense long greyish-blackish hairs on involucre-bracts and upper stem. Coastal in N. Scotland and islands.
4. Var. alpina. Formerly treated as ssp. borealis.  Leaves nearly glabrous, teeth curved down, capitula solitary. Mountain cliff-ledges.
5. Var. pratensis (= taraxaci, see above)
6. Var. autumnalis . Stems slender, usually few, and see above. 6,7 and 8 are common plants of lowland roadsides and grassy places.
7. Var. pinnatifida . Stems slender,  often very numerous. Leaves divided to midrib with linear lateral lobes. Capitula 3-merous per stem.
8. Var. coronopifolia. Stems slender, often very numerous. Leaves divided to midrib with very long  narrow linear segments.
9. Var. cinerascens. Robust stems, large flowers and dense yellowish hair on involucre-bracts. Very rare (perhaps only introduced) in UK.
10. Var. dentata. Leaves erect with short, broad teeth. A few places in Wales and Co. Cork.
11. Var. latifolia. Leaves Broad-leaved in undivided part, with widely spaced long teeth. Roadsides, in occasional clumps.

Autumn Hawkbit on a rainy day (Swindon, 9th August, 2017)

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