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Wild Plants growing in Badsey, 1817-1821

Botany and the Rev. William Rufford

Dusky Cranesbill
Dusky Cranesbill

 

Twiggy Mullein
Twiggy Mullein

William Squire Rufford was an assistant curate at Badsey from 1813 to 1819. His interest in botany gives us a glimpse of the wealth of wild plants that were then growing in the Badsey area.

Charles Phillott, the vicar at that time, lived away from Badsey. Rufford would have carried out most of the vicar's duties. Between 1815 and 1818 the parish records show the baptisms of three daughters born to Rufford's wife Anne.

We know about Rufford's interest in botany from a recent article Worcestershire botany – the historical record by J J Day published in the Worcestershire Record Issue 14 (April 2003). The full article appears on the website of the Worcestershire Biological Records Centre & Worcestershire Recorders.

Some of the information comes from correspondence between Rufford and Thomas Purton who was a doctor of medicine at Alcester. Rufford's records provide a wealth of detail on the species and communities in the Vale of Evesham.

Day comments "The list is in many respects stunning. There would be no inkling of this assemblage, particularly the halophytes and arable weed spectrum, without Rufford's work. W. Cheshire visited the Badsey area in the 1850's, in an attempt to relocate rarities, but reported little of interest amidst an improved landscape and deeply dug drains."

Species recorded by the Rev. W. S. Rufford:
Records published 1817-1821 mainly, S.E.Worcs, especially, Badsey and Littleton area.

Acorus calamus Sweet-flag
Asperula cynanchica Squinancywort
Bolboschoenus maritimus Sea Club-rush
Carex dioica Dioecious Sedge
Cerastium arvense Field Mouse-ear
Ceterach officinarum Rustyback
Chaenorhinum minus Small Toadflax
Chamaemelum nobile Chamomile
Erigeron acer Blue Fleabane
Festuca pratensis x Lolium perenne  
Geranium phaeum Dusky Crane's-bill
Helictotrichon pratense Meadow Oat-grass
Koeleria macrantha Crested Hair-grass
Limosella aquatica Mudwort
Linaria vulgaris Common Toadflax
Lythrum hyssopifolia Grass-poly
Myosotis discolor Changing Forget-me-not
Oenanthe aquatica Fine-leaved Water-dropwort
Ophrys apifera Bee Orchid
Pseudofumaria lutea Yellow Corydalis
Pyrola minor Common Wintergreen
Rorippa sylvestris Creeping Yellow-cress
Sagina nodosa Knotted Pearlwort
Sedum dasyphyllum Thick-leaved Stonecrop
Senecio viscosus Sticky Groundsel
Spergularia marina Lesser Sea-spurrey
Verbascum virgatum Twiggy Mullein
Vicia sylvatica Wood Vetch