HABITATS - INFO

 ARABLE WEEDS
Plants in this category are also to be found in farmers arable fields. Even former crops may be weeds if a different crop was planted.

 GARDEN WEED
Plants under this category are also to be found growing as a weed in gardens.

 GARDENS / PARKS
Plants in this category are also purposely planted in Gardens, or in Parks, or both. They might only be listed in this Wild Flower Finder tomb because they escape into the wild.

 DECIDUOUS WOODLAND
Plants in this category are also to be found growing in deciduous woodland, which is usually more open with sunny glades and clearings than is Coniferous woodland. Bluebells particularly enjoy this kind of environment.

 CONIFEROUS WOOD
Not many plants can grow in the near darkness of a dense and impenetrable conifer plantation. Those plants in this category are usually found growing in a small clearing where sunlight can penetrate to the ground for at least a small part of the day. Coniferous woodland creates acidic growing conditions due to the heavy needle fall, which usually contain more preservatives and terpenes than do leaves of deciduous trees.

 HEDGEROWS
This category illuminates those plants growing in Hedgerows and Hedgebanks. Typically Jack-by-the-Hedge and Ramsons take delight in this setting.

 SCRUB
Variously known as Scrub, Scrubland, Shrubland or Brush. This is an area of land that is sparsely covered with stunted vegetation, mainly shrubs.

 GRASSLAND / FARMLAND
Plants in this category grow in shortish Grassland or Grassy Places or Pastures on farmland.

 HEATHLAND
Areas of land dominated by Heath, or Heathers of various sorts.

A calcifuge is a plant that cannot tolerate alkaline (basic) soils, and plants in this category are described as ericaceous (heath-loving - from the Geneus Erica of which Heather is the prime example). Under alkaline soils, the iron in calcifuge plants becomes less soluble to the point where the plant develops iron-deficiency, leading to chlorosis - a condition in which the leaves produce insufficient chlorophyll resulting in a yellowing of the leaves between the leaf veins, and ultimately to its death.

The opposite of a calcifuge is a calcicole which is a plant which thrives on alkaline soils but is poisoned by acidic soils. A calcicole grown on acidic soils will suffer from aluminium toxicity and phosphate deficiency, because aluminium is more soluble in acidic soils and phosphates less soluble. The leaves will redden and ultimately wither when a calcicole is grown on acidic soils.

 ACID UPLANDS
Peaty terrain, usually with high rainfall and upland bogs. Upland soils with pH lower than 7, due mainly to lack of oxygen in the soil (which all gets used up in oxidizing the peat).

 ACID SOILS
A calcifuge is a plant that cannot tolerate alkaline (basic) soils

 LIMESTONE UPLANDS
Dominated by limestone or dolomitic (calcium and magnesium bearing) rocks. Such places have a soil pH which is higher than 7. Rain tends to percolate such terrain because the limestone rocks have vertical fissures, generated by acidic rains dissolving away the calcium carbonate of the rocks. Surface water is rare in such places, Malham Tarn being an exception. The mineral galena (lead sulfate) is mostly associated with limestone rocks, in which it forms veins. The galena is mined for the lead lead it contains. Limestone rocks are formed by the marine deposition of trillions of coccoliths, the tiny aragonite or calcite shells of micro-organisms called coccolithophores.

 LIMEY OR CHALKY SOILS
Chalk is a white porous sedimentary rock formed from small crystals of the mineral calcite, calcium carbonate. It has the same derivation as limestone rocks, but without being subjected to the pressures and temperatures required to transform it into limestone rock.

 BY FRESHWATER
This category lists all those plants that like to grow beside freshwater, still or flowing. Plants that like a lot of water but cannot abide standing in water. This includes canals, ditches, streams, rivers, tarns, ponds, lakes and reservoirs.

 IN FRESHWATER (Aquatic)
This category lists all those plants that are freshwater aquatic, that is, in non-salty water deep enough to cover their roots at all times. The water could be static, or flowing. This includes canals, ditches, streams, rivers, tarns, ponds, lakes and reservoirs. Some may even enjoy floating free in freshwater, roots dangling into the depths of still water (if it was flowing, these plants would be flushed away). But most are rooted into the mud at the bottom of such waters, and as such, depending upon their height, can only grow in shallow water of a certain depth. Some like water no deeper than a few centimetres, others wallow in water as deep as a metre or more. It should be noted that there is no self-consistent definition of 'aquatic plants' - which form a continuum between submerged through floating-leaved to wetland and terrestrial plants (witness the floating-leaved morphotype of Amphibious Bistort compared to its terrestrial form (both called Persicaria amphibia).

 IN SHALLOW WET PLACES
For instance shallow ponds, wet flushes, wet sand dune slacks, etc.

 BOGS AND MARSHES
Bogs are associated with acid uplands, where peat lies. The water is thus acidic. Fens are the opposite, they are on flat lowlands once occupied by the sea, and are therefore brackish and alkaline.

 DAMP BARE GROUND / MUD

 WASTELANDS / ROADSIDES

 COASTAL FRINGE
This category encompasses the whole of the coastal fringe. Plants shown under this category could be on salt-flats, mud-flats, sandy beaches, shingle beaches, the strand line, sand-dunes, sea cliffs, sea rocks, cliff tops, or anywhere within say 5 miles of the sea. There are other categories here that are more specific, but this category just lists all those plants that like to grow near the sea.

 SAND DUNES
Sand Dunes are usually alkaline not because of silicon dioxide (which is slightly acidic in nature) but to the presence of grains of sea shells which contain calcium carbonate in the form of  aragonite and  calcite with traces of  ammolite, the iridescent part of some mollusc shells.

Sand dunes come in various forms. The ones closest to the sea, and hence subject to erosion by the tides, storms and high winds often found on the coastline are the ones that are most mobile, changing shape and moving as grains get picked up by the wind on the seaward side and deposited on the leeward side. Only certain plants are able to grow in such mobile dunes, for there is little or no soil, and any rain-water drains away quickly through the sand. Moreover, the plants are liable to get buried in shifting sand.

Dunes a little further inland may still have hills and dales, but a little more soil to retain the moisture. Such dunes move little and support differing plants.

Then there are old dunes, which are mostly flat, have extensive vegetation, and any hollows gather mud and clay to become impervious to rain-water, and are where a small lake may develop in winter or after heavy summer rains. These are the dune slacks, which support yet other plants.

 TIDAL FRINGE / SALTMARSH
This lists those plants in the tidal area, where the tide may wash over the land perhaps twice a day, or less often if a little higher when at the extreme only very high spring tides will wash over the land. The strandline is related to the highest regular tides, and is that line where most flotsam and jetsam is deposited (or gets stranded) after a high tide has receded and is just about in the tidal fringe.

Strandline plants are opportunistic taking a temporary hold on the soil during tidal or storm lulls, to be washed away at the next storm or very high tide. As such they often able to flower in any of several months, at almost any time of year except the deep cold winter.

 WALLS

 CLIFF / ROCK FACES

 CLIFF TOPS

 CULTIVATED (Not Native)

unfinished ........


DEFINITIONS OF SOME HABITAT TERMS

Alpine - A flower that grows above the Tree-line.



WildFlowerFinder Homepage