|Sea Holly Eryngium maritimum dominated dunes at Blackpill beach|
|Sea Holly, Eryngium maritimum|
Although designated as a SSSI due to its importance for hosting internationally important numbers of wading birds they were all way to far away to photograph due to the tide being out, so I stuck around the vegetated dunes to see which species I could find, unsurprisingly there was nothing of too much note but it was nice to see the Sea Holly Eryngium maritimum in flower.
The sea wall was largely covered in Sea Sandwort Honckenya peploides, a common coastal plant and plenty of Rock Samphire Crithmum maritimum. Once a highly prized foraged herb but now sadly out of fashion, probably due to its intense salty, parsley taste but I quite like it.
|Sea Sandwort,Honckenya peploides|
|Canadian Fleabane, Conyza canadensis|
One native species could be seen among all the invaders the small Autumn Hawkbit Scorzoneroides autumnalis.
|Autumn Hawkbit, Scorzoneroides autumnalis|
Down below the high tide mark were a few islands of vegetation, these were comprised of an endemic species which only originated in the 1870's in Southern Britain.Common Cordgrass Spartina anglica is an allotetraploid species derived from the hybrid Spartina × townsendii which came about due to the introduction of Smooth Cordgrass Spartina alterniflora, most likely in bilge water which then hybridised with the native Small Cordgrass Spartina maritima.
Although at first it was seen as a key species for fighting coastal erosion it then went on to stabilise tidal mudflats, a key problem for wading birds however the species has since had a natural die back of unknown cause has reversed the spread.