08 July, 2017

Ivy Broomrape

Last Sunday I walked what is fast becoming my favourite part of the south coast, the ten mile stretch between Kimmeridge and Swanage. It has everything you could want from a coastline - dizzyingly high cliffs, secluded beaches, breathtaking sea vistas, fossils, seabird colonies, rare plants and Purbeck ice cream.

One of the weirdest things to be found along this stretch of the coast is Ivy Broomrape, a parasitic plant that gains all its nutrients from the root stock of its host Ivy since it has no chlorophyll with which to absorb its own sunlight. I stumbled across this flower by chance in a dingy overgrown corner of Winspit Quarry after I took a wrong turn along the SW coast path and ended up at the entrance to an old mine!

 Ivy Broomrape

Winspit Quarry

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