Friends of Coombe Wood

The Plant Life of Coombe Wood

including Fungi and others

Coombe Wood has had a long known history, and much of it is Ancient Woodland, whose existence dates back at least as far as the earliest published Maps of 1772–1774.

There are two important published sources of information on the wildlife of the wood. The first is the book by Oliver Rackham The Ancient Woodlands of England: The Woods of South-East Essex, published in 1986 by Rochford Borough Council. The second is the survey of Local Wildlife Sites in Essex by the Essex Wildlife Trust. Coombe Wood is listed there as CP10, and the document is available as a pdf file.

As an ancient woodland it has a wide diversity of plant life, rather more than would be expected from its size (according to Rackham). There are a number of species which are mainly confined to ancient woodlands, and are rarely seen in secondary woodlands.

For many of the plants listed below, there is a small i-symbol [If you hover over this with the mouse, then an information panel about that species will appear, usually with an image. i] before or after the name. If you hover over this with the mouse, then an information panel about that species will appear, usually with an image. Note, however, that the plain i-symbol [i] is purely a space-filler in lists and does not (yet) provide a link.


Vascular Plants

Vascular plants include the trees, flowers, grasses and ferns.
We have no records of Mosses or Liverworts though they are very common in the wood. Records of these would be welcome!
Fungi are listed separately below.
The publications above list the following as typical plants of Ancient Woodlands:

Other plants of note include:

In addition to those species typical of ancient woodlands, there are also many other common woodland (and other) plants. These include:

Some plants more typical outside woodlands include:

The trees of Coombe Wood are principally:

Other trees and shrubs, in smaller numbers, are:

Woody climbers and scramblers include:

In addition to the native species, there are several naturalised alien trees and shrubs within the wood, largely seeded as escapes from gardens. The most noticeable of these are:

Fungi

There has not been any systematic fungus survey of Coombe Wood. The following list is mostly based on the casual observation of John Rostron.

Slime-Fungi

These are curious fungus-like organisms. They are neither animal, plant nor fungus. They spend most of their lives underground and then, in moist conditions, they gather together and emerge to form slimy aggregations like these as their reproductive bodies.