Tamarisks were first introduced to the UK in the Sixteenth Century for use by physicians. They have become naturalised, particularly around the south-west coasts of the UK. There are a few “wild” tamarisks in Newborough Forest: they are very beautiful when they flower.
A tamarisk in flower
Tamarisks have sprays of palest pink flowers and little bobble shaped flower buds
In some areas tamarisks are considered a noxious, invasive species, but in Wales, at the limit of their ecological range, they are scarce and untroublesome.
You’d be hard pressed to miss the big, almost luminous yellow flowers of evening primrose throughout Newborough Forest. From June until September they’ll be in flower and then their seed heads will stand well into next year’s flowering season too.
Evening primrose – Oenothera spp. I think it is the large flowered Oenothera glazioviana.
The Evening Primroses are biennial plants: during their first year, they just grow leaves and then in the second year they flower and set seeds. But even the leaves are distinctive and noticeable with their bright red tips contrasting with the green leaf parts.
First year leaves of Evening Primrose
Evening Primrose is an incomer from the United States. It flowers and seeds prolifically and spreads easily on light, sandy soils.
One of the commonest plants on the dunes at Newborough is the sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias). If you see it early in the year, before it forms flowers, it looks more like a sprawling kind of stonecrop than a spurge.
Sea spurge in April
But once the flowers have formed, it’s unmistakably spurge-like.
Sea spurge in flower: like many Euphorbias, it has no petals or sepals.
Flowering sea spurge (with spikes of marram grass flowers poking through)