Toothwort in flower

There is a lot of Toothwort (Lathraea squamaria) in flower along Dowles valley at present. This plant is a member of the Broomrape family (Orobanchaceaea) whose members are total parasites on the roots of various plants.¬†Toothwort is usually in association with Hazel and Elm.¬†The plants contain no chlorophyl and the leaves are reduced to scales on the flower stem. Toothwort spreads with underground rhizomes and so many flowering spikes can often be found together. The flowers are usually white, but pink forms occur commonly. It is one of Wyre’s more unusual plants, and is a delight to see in the woodland in springtime!

Toothwort growing in the Dowles Valley, 28th April 2013

Toads spawning!

I checked out one of the spawning sites in Wyre on Sunday 21st April. The spawning was almost over and there were many strings of spawn wrapped around the vegetation along the edges of the pool. There were one or two males still croaking, and I found one pair in amplexus, as seen in the photograph.

Toads in amplexus amongst spawn, 21st April 2013