Daphne mezereon Friday 9th April 2021
Finding somewhere to park was more tricky than finding the plant on my first trip of the year in to South Yorkshire with fellow botanist John Scott. We were following up a record for Mezereon (Daphne mezereon) sent in by a keen-eyed conservation volunteer working on the Trans Pennine Trail near Penistone. Unfortunately, our planned parking spot, The Blacksmiths Arms in Millhouse Green was coned off due to work on the traffic lights but John soon found a parking spot near to the walking trail. We wanted to see the plant whilst it was still in flower as we thought the pink flowers would be easy to spot amongst the undergrowth. The site wasn’t the usual habitat for Mezereon which prefers limestone soil and VC 63 records are confined to Brockadale Nature Reserve. But rail tracks typically have a limestone aggregate trackbed which can support a limestone flora.
Once we were on path it didn’t take us long to find the plant at the foot of the former railway embankment. It was quite close to a farmhouse and other garden escapes were scattered around including Wilson’s Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida), Cotoneaster and Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris). The plant was about 1m in height and quite floriferous, the light green leaves were already out. I could detect a sweet scent from the beautiful flowers.