Umbilicus rupestris Crassulaceae Wall Pennywort

Flower spike Leaves At L'Ancresse Common

Umbilicus rupestris 30kb

Description - The flower spike reaches about 25cm and is densely covered in small whitish, tubular flowers, which hang downwards. The leaves are unusual in being roughly circular with the leaf stalk coming from a central point beneath. They are also very fleshy, and often form neat rosettes.

Habitat - Often in cracks in old (and not so old) granite walls, also on hedge banks and trees, found island-wide, also grows on small rocky off-shore islets, where there is very little other vegetation.

Comments - Wall Pennywort has a western distribution, and does not occur in the north-east of England. Guernsey children use the flower spike to "shoot" at each other, by rapidly stripping off the flowers between finger and thumb. They also pull a layer of cuticle off the underside of the leaf and apply the cool flesh to small abrasions (known here as "Ba-bas")

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