BOTANY of moorland stretching from the Basingstoke Canal near Brookwood to Bagshot, one comes suddenly on a level tract of pure white sand, glistening with water. The sand however is found to be merely on the surface, beneath which the soil consists of black peat mud. This sand-covered bog occurs about halfway between Brookwood and Bagshot, and is sufficiently firm to be crossed on foot ; its origin is at present somewhat doubtful. It has been suggested that it may be the remains of an old peat cutting, and this seems probable. The film of sand which covers it has no doubt gradually filtered out of the hills above and been carried down by rain. Peculiar and interesting as this bog is in itself, it is no less so in its relation to the plants which it supports. The black bogrush (Schaenus nigricans), confined to this district, occurs in abundance, as well as several of the rarer sedges, etc. But it is chiefly remarkable as the home of the rare horsetail (Equisetum litorale) referred to more particularly on another page. Among other plants may be named the broad-leaved water parsnip (Stum latifolium) which occurs in some plenty in several places between Chertsey and Egham, although almost extinct elsewhere in the county. A rare hybrid between the two skullcaps (Scutellaria galericulata and 5. minor) was found near Virginia Water by Mr. George Nicholson. The common bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris), a very rare species in the county, is plentiful in ditches about Chertsey and Thorpe, growing with the frog's-bit (Hydrocharis Morsus-rana;). One peculiarity of the district is that it is the only one of those which drain into the river Thames that does not comprise within its area some portion of the chalk formation. This is however compensated for in some measure by the chalk plants which occur by the Thames side, especially in the neighbourhood of Runnymede. These are included in the following list of the more noteworthy species : Clematis Vitalba, L. Ranunculus Drouetii, Schultz hirsutus, Curtis Berberis vulgaris, L. Myriophyllum verticillatum, L. Callitriche obtusangula, Le Gall. Sium latifolium, L. Valerianella Auricula, DC. Scabiosa Columbaria, L. Campanula glomerata, L. Gentiana Pneumonanthe, L. Scutellaria galericulata x minor Utricularia vulgaris, L. minor, L. Plantago media, L. Myrica Gale, L. Lemna gibba, L. Potamogeton rufescens, Schrad. zosterifolius, Schum. Hydrocharis Morsus-ranae, L. Allium oleraceum, L. Juncus compressus, Jacq. Schaenus nigricans, L. Scirpus pauciflorus, Lightf. Carex dioica, L. fulva, Good. Agrostis setacea, Curtis Festuca elatior, L. 3. UPPER WEY This large district consists of the basin of the river Wey south of the chalk range. It is bounded on the north by the ridge of the chalk hills, on the south by the borders of the Arun districts and the county of Sussex, on the east by the Arun (Oke) district and by a line passing from the latter by Leith Hill northward to the chalk, and on the west by Hampshire. Two sub-districts have been separated, representing the basins of the west and east branches of the river ; the dividing line runs nearly due north from a point between Hambledon and Hascomb to the junction of the two branches, and thence by the river Wey itself to the chalk at Guildford. The wide heaths which occupy so large a part of the district, on the Lower Greensand formation, differ somewhat in character from those of districts i and 2 in the absence, for the most part, of deep bogs. The general character of the vegetation is very similar except for the absence of Agrostis setacea and the bog myrtle (Myrica Gale) which occur so abundantly in many parts of the latter. Two usually maritime species occur in the western sub-district, one of the stork's-bills (Er odium maritimum) found near Farnham (W. W. Reeves) ; and the sand sedge, (Carex arenaria). The former is extremely rare as an inland plant, the latter less so. Speci- mens of this stork's-bill are preserved in Kew Herbarium, but it appears doubtful whether the plant is still to be found at Farnham. A rare species of broom-rape (Orobanche Picridis) has been found in one locality (Rev. E. S. Marshall), while the discovery of the brown beak-sedge (Rhynchoipora fuica) greatly extended the eastern range of the species. It occurs on Thursley Common (Revs. E. S. Marshall and R. P. Murray), where it may be found in profusion in a series of bogs adjoining a pond called The Moat. Another species of decidedly western 41
Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/83
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