A metre or two inland from the strandline at Rye and Dungeness the first of the perennial plants that you are most likely to encounter is sea kale Crambe maritima, with its blue grey leaves and prominent white flowers. This sea-kale community can be observed easily at a particularly broad strip at Dungeness Point, just west of the New Light-house, where a relatively new boardwalk passes through it on the way to the sea. At present the shingle appears largely bare, but there are scattered patches of dead pale grey leaves.
In the centre of this photograph is a dormant sea kale rhizome waiting to burst into leaf in the spring. Around it, and across the gravel today there were also numerous sea kale seedlings. Given how mobile the shingle is when you walk on it you can imagine how vulnerable these tiny plants are to damage - being buried or crushed by stones for instance. Read the rest of this entry »