Three Water-dropworts, 5 July

Oenanthe silaifolia at Twyning
Oenanthe pimpinelloides at Brookthorpe
Oenanthe fistulosa at Twyning

I photographed and compared the three species of Water-dropwort that can still occasionally be found in meadows in the Severn Vale.

Narrow-leaved Water-dropwort (Oenanthe silaifolia) flowers in late May or early June in wet grasslands, and now the domed heads of the fruiting partial umbels clearly differentiate it from Corky-fruited Water-dropwort (Oenanthe pimpinelloides) which sometimes grow in drier parts of the same meadows. In the latter species the ripening fruit are held much more upright, so the partial umbels are almost flat-topped. Furthermore, it flowers in late June or early July. A third species, Tubular Water-dropwort (Oenanthe fistulosa) is just now coming into full flower. This also likes very damp conditions. It is a smaller, stockier species than the other two, often with only three rays to the umbel, which bears its fruit in globe-shaped bunches when they are ripe.

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