Inula crithmoides is a small or low-growing shrubby plant forming many leafy branches. Although specimens are often less than 1. Only few mature branches are found to sub-branch at the upper parts into much smaller branches. The stems are glabrous and can turn woody with time. Leaves are numerous and often seen curved upright to take a vertically erect position.
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On seacliffs it is found in maritime rock crevices on calcareous rocks or crevices containing wind-blown shell sand, associated with Aster tripolium, Crithmum maritimum, Limonium binervosum including several microspecies , Parapholis incurva, Plantago coronopus and Spergularia rupicola.
A little further inland, it is found in Festuca rubra-Armeria maritima turf, usually on the seaward edge, associated with Arenaria serpyllifolia, Bromus hordeaceus subsp. In both these latter cases the soils are shallow and developed on chalk or limestone. On saltmarshes, I. The first is in low marsh areas developed on coarse sands, where it is associated with Atriplex portulacoides, Limonium vulgare, Puccinellia maritima and Salicornia europaea, and occasionally Frankenia laevis and Sarcocornia perennis.
The second is on the upper marsh at about the drift line where the soil is highly organic and here I. It also occurs on the gravels of an accreting foreshore.
Germination is sporadic in the autumn, but chiefly occurs in spring. Flowering is from July to October, with fruit dispersal from September to November. In cold summers and in northern localities flowering and fruiting is delayed and may result in heavy seed abortion.
Seedlings are common in open bare areas near adult plants. The saltmarsh occurrences are mainly restricted to the Solent, West Sussex, the Thames estuary and Essex, whereas the cliff populations are found in Kent and Purbeck westwards. However, saltmarsh populations in Carmarthenshire may originate from seed washed round the coast from cliff populations in neighbouring counties. Almost all sites are unmanaged in any way, and are unlikely to be under any threat.
Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
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