- I was most interested by Andy Horton's references to this plant,
both in regards to flower books that include it and his reference to
its presence on the beach at Shoreham-by-Sea.
A couple of years ago I went to visit an aunt (uninterested in botany
or conservation) who lives on the coast a good few miles west of
Shoreham. We went for a walk on the beach and I noticed these strange
flowers (which I did not mention to my aunt!). I later identified
them as Child(l)ing pink, and I read somewhere, I forget where, that
the location where I found them was one of only two sites in Britain.
This gave me an interest in this plant.
What now baffles me is its accurate name. Andy Horton and BMLSS give
this as "Childing Pink, Petrorhagia nanteuilii". I have
consulted flower books I have in my possession and have come up with
an unbelievable number of variants as follows:
1955 M/F Childling Kohlrauschia prolifera
1965 KM - P. nanteuilii / Kohlrauschia prolifera etc
1974 FFB Childling P. nanteulii / nanteullii
1978 F atlas - P. prolifera
1981 Rose Childling Kohlrauschia (P.) nanteulii
1983 GS Childling P. nanteuilii / nanteulii
1989 B/GW Childing P. nanteulii
Thus we have childling/childing and nanteulii/ nanteuilii/ nanteullii
Is it possible to know which of all these variants is correct? It
seems to me that typing errors have probably become accepted through
repetition. I assume that Kohlrauschia is an older name and that the
separation from K./P./ prolifera is rather recent? It is a separate
species in more recent sources.
Also, what is the correct pronunciation? child -(l)ing (as in young
child) or chilled-(l)ing?
List of books referred to above:
1955 - McClintock & Fitter - Collins pocket guide to wild flowers
1965 - Keeble Martin - Concise British flora in colour
1974 - Fitter/Fitter/Blamey - Wild flowers of Britain & Northern
1978 - Fitter - Atlas of wild flowers of Britain & Northern Europe
1981 - Rose - Wild flower key, British Isles & North West Europe
1983 - Garrard & Streeter - Wild Flowers of the British Isles
1989 - Blamey/Grey Wilson - Illustrated flora of Britain & Northern
- At Pagham Harbour we have the largest colony of Childing Pink - it is
prolific on the shingle on both sides of the harbour entrance
(although, please note that the Church Norton spit has no access
during the summer because of the breeding birds there.) I became
aware of a name change about 2 years ago. Up until then, we certainly
called it ChildLing Pink but I was picked up on this by our
Scientific Steering Committee! I don't dabble with scientific names,
so won't attempt to say which of those is accurate! As to
pronunication, we say CHILDing (as in young child), but perhaps there
may be a regional variation on this.
Sarah Patton - Warden, Pagham Harbour LNR.