About the blog

This rambling blog is about building a simple layout in HO, the available space is rather small but the prototype was not built on the grand scale, most rural stations were merely a curved loop and a siding, which is easy to replicate.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Railway weeds

Railways are a micro community, often bringing rural flora and fauna into urban environments. two of the most common plants common to railways are shown below.

Tragopogon pratensis, Jack go to bed or Meadow Salisify, the plant is distributed across Europe, commonly growing in fields (hence its name) and on tracksides. The local name derives from its habit of the flower head closing before noon, it is found in Germany from NRW to Austria as well as the south of England.  

It can grow to over a metre in height and is a prolific weed, the milky sap can be dried and used as chewing gum.

The other endemic weed often associated with railways is Chamerion angustifolium, Rose Bay Willowherb. Its tendency to quickly colonise open areas with little competition, such as sites of railway and forest fires, makes it a clear example of a pioneer species. Plants grow and flower as long as there is open space and plenty of light, it is found throughout  Germany as well as the south of England.  

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