Sunday, 3 July 2016

Cicuta virosa L. Burton Mill Pond, West Sussex

Burton Mill Pond (looking South from the dam crest)

Burton Mill Pond is part of the Burton Park SSSI. The pond supports the nationally scarce Cicuta virosa commonly known as Cowbane, the plant can be seen easily from the path which runs along the dam crest.

Burton Mill Pond is the only site in Sussex where this plant is recorded, and is consequently one of the notable features of the SSSI (Natural England online). Within the site it has been recorded along all sides of the pond, and seems to favour the wettest edges and pools within the Phragmites and Carex dominated fen (Pers comm.)

Nationally the plants distribution is very scattered, although it has a stronghold in the Shropshire-Derbyshire plains, where it can be quite common (BSBI online).

Further reading:

Burton Park SSSI citation
BSBI species account

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