Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/72

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A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE vetch, Vicia syhatica the field bell-flower, Campanula patula ; the yellow bird's-nest, Hypopithys multiflora ; and the rare bramble, Rubus Bloxamianus. In the valley of the Sow around Combe and Brinklow are spreading woodlands rich in well-grown timber, and of interest to the botanist as yielding the rare bastard pimpernel, Centunculus minimus ; the beautiful water avens, Geum rhiale ; its still rarer ally, G. intermedium, and the luscious fruited bramble, Rubus Balfourianus. The valley of the Learn has in parts quite a forest-like character ; many of its woods being of great extent and the homes of wild plants which are worth notice, such as the white beam, Pyrus Aria ; the gromwell, Litbospermum officinale ; the butterfly orchis, Habenaria chlorantha ; and the beautiful lily-of-the- valley, Convallaria majalis. In the southern portion of the county, in the pretty valley of the Stour are the forest-like woodlands around Wolford, Whichford and Long Compton, which like the country around possess a flora very heathlike in general character, but also yield among other interesting plants the rare wood chickweed, Stellaria umbrosa ; the dwarf cherry, Prunus Cerasus ; the scented agrimony, Agrimonia odorata ; the tawny sedge, Carex fuha ; and the throatwort, Campanula latifolia. In the basins of the Arrow and the Alne are the extensive woods around, Ragley, Oversley, and Henley-in-Arden, some of which have been made historic by Purton's work recorded in his valuable Midland Flora. The soils about this portion of the county are mostly clay loams resting on marl and limestone, and the flora is mostly that appertaining to calcareous soils such as the traveller's joy, Clematis Vitalba ; ithe wood crane's-bill, Geranium syhaticum ; the spindle tree, Euonymus europaeus ; the everlasting pea, Lathyrus syhestris ; the soft-leaved rose, Rosa mollis ; the wild service-tree, Pyrus torminalis ; the wayfaring tree, Viburnum Lantana ; and the beautiful clustered bell-flower, Campanula glomerata. In the northern portion of the county the woods are usually small, the subsoil frequently of a peaty nature, and the undergrowth for the most part some of the more common grasses, an abundant growth of the bilberry, Vaccinium Myrtillus ; some of the more common ferns as Lastreea dilatata ; the black alder, Rhamnus Frangula ; now and again herb Paris, Paris quadrifolia ; and a rich display of the beautiful bluebell, Scllla nutans. There are no lakes in the county, but some of the pools are large, like lakes in character, of ancient date, and yield some of our rarest plants. Such as Packington Pool ; here is the white water-lily, Nymphcea alba ; the flowering-rush, Eutomus umbellatus ; and the floating burr-reed, Sparganium minimum ; near this are the pools at Merecote and Olton Mill, where are the pondweeds, Potamogeton rufescens and P. pusillus ; and the fine lake-like reservoir at Olton, where is found the rare water-wort, Elatme bexandra, and the shore-weed, Littorella lacustris. Other extensive pools occur at Combe Abbey, Stoneleigh, Wormleighton and Farn- borough ; here is the water crowflower, Ranunculus trichophyllus ; and the sweet flag, Acorus Calamus. But the most interesting pools from a Dtamcal point of view are those of Chesterton, Itchington Holt and tnam Holt, for here we find the few plants of the county which have 34