Roadsides, Gardens, Street plantings, Parks, etc.

Road-sides and the front-walls of gardens harbour a variety of plants, either spontaneously occurring or escaping from adjacent front gardens. Those that grow in such locations are subject to removal, sometimes by poisoning, usually by the local council.

Deliberate plantings of street trees and the like are worthy of attention; not only do they have an effect on other types of wildlife, but street trees in particular sometimes offer the opportunity to see unusual species that may otherwise only be found in collections or arboretums.

Included here are some plants - mainly trees - that are found in local parks, and some that may or may not have been deliberately introduced into graveyards.

Stace Species Common Name Location
18 Polypodium vulgare Polypody On the top of a wall of the Golden Fleece pub in Capel Road, Manor Park.
22 Phyllitis scolopendrium Hart's-tongue Fern Persisted on a damp patch on the railway arch at Wanstead Park Station, Forest Gate, but no longer since the arch was renovated. Has also been seen on the brickwork of Manor Park Station.
24 Asplenium adiantum-nigrum Black Spleenwort Front garden wall of a house in Capel Road, Manor Park/Forest Gate.
26 Asplenium ruta-muraria Wall Rue Front garden wall of a house in Capel Road, Manor Park/Forest Gate.
26 Ceterach officinarum Rustyback Side wall of a house in Ridley Road, Forest Gate.
33 Dryopteris filix-mas Male Fern Base of the wall of Wanstead House, Wanstead.
45 Pinus nigra ssp. laricio Corsican Pine In Aldersbrook Wood. This may have been planted as a feature when the area was the grounds of a yellow fever hospital. There is one specimen in Alexandra Wood, near Alexandra Lake, and others in the City of London Cemetery.
80 Nigella damascena Love-in-a-mist Originating from the adjacent allotments, this was on the roadside verge in the 'lane' extension of Empress Avenue.
85 Clematis vitalba Traveller's-joy An extensive growth of this on the banks of the Alders Brook in Little Ilford. Here, and where the brook joins the Roding at the Ilford Bridge, are the only known locations locally.
102 Papaver somniferum Opium Poppy On Aldersbrook Road pavement, by the City of London Cemetery wall 13/06/2022
103 Papaver rhoeas Common Poppy Occurs sporadically by pavements and elsewhere. This one is in the hedgerow by the Aldersbrook stables paddock.
107 Pseudofumaria lutea Yellow Corydalis This is a frequent species to be found growing by front garden walls throughout the area. Also found in Tarzy Wood.
111 Platanus orientalis Oriental Plane In a garden by Hollybush Hill. There is another in the private grounds adjacent to Snaresbrook Road next to Gilbert's Slade.
116 Morus nigra Black Mulberry In the grounds of St. Gabriel's Church, Aldersbrook.
118 Soleirolia soleirolii Mind-your-own-business At the base of my front wall in Capel Road, Forest Gate on 16 March 2012. This patch has since gone, but the species may be found in similar positions along the road.
118 Parietaria judaica Pellitory-of-the-wall Once an uncommon plant hereabouts, it has increased substantially over the years.
It can be found against front-garden walls, for example, in quite a few of the local roads near to Gladding Road, Manor Park, as well as in the roads near Godwin Road in Forest Gate.
127 Nothofagus dombeyi Dombey's Southern Beech An ornamental species in Little Ilford Park.
127 Carpinus betulus var Fastgiata Fastigiate Hornbeam Quite a number of these as street trees, where their ascending branches presumably are to take the mass of foliage above the levels of house-windows and clear of the pavements. Chestnut Avenue in Forest Gate has these lining the 'big' length of the road. These replaced the Chestnut trees that gave the name to the road. Unfortunately, the hornbeams do grow to quite a large size, and their seeds are profuse.
127 Corylus avellana Hazel An uncommon plant in the area, this one in Tarzy Wood, Wanstead.
127 Carpinus orientalis Oriental Hornbeam An ornamental species in Little Ilford Park.
177 Saponaria officinalis Soapwort This double-flowered form was on the east bank of the River Roding near to the gardens of houses in Royston Gardens. 
186 Fallopia japonica Japanese Knotweed A highly-invasive species. This was in a front-garden in Wanstead Park Avenue, Aldersbrook, in 2012, but has since been removed.
192 Rumex cristatus Greek Dock Over perhaps the last 10 years the occurence of this species has increased significantly. Mostly found by roadsides, this specimen was in the lane between Empress Avenue allotments and the riding school.
212 Malva moschata Musk Mallow Flowering in early November 2011 by the roadside on the very southern edge of Leyton Flats by Highstone in Leytonstone.
214 Malva neglecta Dwarf Mallow By Capel Point, Forest Gate, 20 May 2008.
215 Althea rosea Hollyhock Probably deliberately seeded or planted, overlooking the golf course extension in Warren Road, Wanstead. 17th June 2009
222 Viola wittrockiana Garden Pansy On the pavement by Snaresbrook Station, Wanstead, 7 August 2008, probably as a result of 'guerilla gardening' in the area.
227 Populus nigra 'italica' Lombardy Poplar A tree in Aldersbrook Wood.
250 Sisymbrium officinale Hedge Mustard  This is a common pavement species, often growing around the base of street trees as here by a London Plane in Capel Road, near Wanstead Flats, 27 May 2008.
259 Cardamine hirsuta Hairy Bittercress Fairly common at the base of walls by pavements. Also in St Mary's Churchyard, Wanstead, 12 February 2005.
308 Umbilicus rupestris Navelwort Growing on a north-facing wall of Manor Park Cemetery and has persisted in this location since the 1970's.
I'm afraid to say that it probably arrived there after a holiday in Cornwall, but has persisted and multiplied. 
(320) Hamamelis japonica Witch Hazel An ornamental shrub in Manor Park Cemetery. 23 February 2010
329 Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet On the east bank of the River Roding. 8 July 2008
335 Rubus laciniatus Cut-leaved Bramble This specimen is on the east bank of the River Roding in the stretch near the old allotment sites and the sports grounds; 8th July 2008.
368 Eriobotrya japonica Loquat In the garden of a house on the newer part of the Aldersbrook Estate. This specimen is now gone.
390 Cotoneaster sp. Cotoneaster species This plant was growing at the base of the wall in Capel Road between Whitta and Gladding Roads, Manor Park, during 2016 and into 2017. In May 2017 it was suffering from the effects of council-applied weed-killer and is no longer present.
442 Eucalyptus globulus Blue Gum/Eucalyptus A few specimens in the front gardens of houses. Quite unsutable for these small gardens, as these trees grow to an enormous size.
442 Feijoa sellowiana Feijoa In a front garden in Wanstead Park Avenue, Aldersbrook.
446 Epilodium montanum Broad-leaved Willowherb Grows from the junction of walls and pavements.
455 Euonymus europaeus
Spindle Evidently another species introduced to Webster's Land, as these aren't known from elsewhere in the area.
457 Mercurialis perennis Annual Mercury Relatively common growing from garden walls.
461 Euphorbia helioscopia Sun Spurge This specimen was growing at the base of a wall in Wanstead Park Avenue, Aldersbrook.
471 Ailanthus altissima Tree of Heaven Between the pavement and the metal railing surrounding Capel Point, Forest Gate. This species suckers readily,and it may be that there is a mature tree nearby.
482 Geranium robertianum Herb Robert Herb Robert is a common but attractive 'weed' in the area, often found growing from old mortar in front-garden walls.
485 Erodium cicutarium Common Stork's-bill At the edge of the pavement by Capel Point, Forest Gate, 20 April 2007. This is a fairly common plant in the City of London Cemetery,
502 Conopodium majus Pignut This was on the east bank of the River Roding. It does occur on the Plain in Wanstead Park, across the river.
525 Nicotania sp. Tobacco Plant On some newly-disturbed soil on a roadside verge in Arran Drive, Aldersbrook.
528 Lycopersicon esculentum Tomato A fine crop between the rails of Platform 2 of Manor Park Station. Possibly the result of a discarded sandwich..?  
585 Buddleja davidii Buddleia, or Butterfly Bush Quite common growing in front gardens, and readily seeding to cracks in mortar, even high on houses by the guttering.
585 Olea europaea Olive An ornamental tree in Little Ilford Park.
586 Fraxinus angustifolia Claret Ash Occasional as a garden or street tree. This specimen is in Wanstead Park Avenue.
594 Pawlonia tomentosa Foxglove Tree In Manor Park Cemetery
598 Cymbalaria muralis Ivy-leaved Toadflax This happy little plant is fond of establishing itself in the mortar of front walls, so is common everywhere.
609 Melampyrum pratense Common Cow-wheat In Gilbert's Slade; the only known location in the area.
624 Rhinanthus minor Yellow Rattle Apart from a small amount found on Wanstead Flats, this is the only other known occurence of this species in the area.
627 Orobanche sp. Broomrape Some uncertainty about this identification. The plant was past its best, but may have been Orobanche elatior; there was a considerable amount of Knapweed in the vicinity.  
642 Lobelia erinus Garden Lobelia Sporadic and not persisting. This one was growing from a crack in the pavement kerbstone.
647 Galium verum Lady's Bedstraw On the east bank of the River Roding, opposite Wanstead Park.
651 Viburnum opulus Guelder-rose By Manor Pond, Gilbert's Slade. An uncommon plant in the area, and almost certainly deliberately introduced when the pond was renovated in 2008/9. 
651 Sambucus nigra 'laciniata' Cut-leaved Elder This was in Webster's Land, Little Ilford. Cut-leaved Elder is a cultivar of the common Elder, and may become naturalised.
651 Sambucus ebulus Dwarf Elder By the edge of the Empress Avenue allotments. The plant was soon strimmed out of existence.
657 Valerianiella locusta Common Cornsalad Only two locations known in the area, this plant was found and photographed by Roger Snook. The other location is Latimer Road, Forest Gate, but that may not be the same species.
718 Pulicaia dysenterica Common Fleabane Common Fleabane is an uncommon plant in the area, known only from this location and from the east end of the Perch Pond in Wanstead Park. These were photographed during an open day at the court, but generally it seems that photography is not encouraged in court premises.
728 Bellis perennis Daisy This one in St. Mary's Churchyard, Wanstead, but common elsewhere, for example in roadside verges.
747 Calendula officinalis Pot Marigold On the pavement by the golf course railings, Warren Road, Wanstead.
753 Galinsoga parviflora Gallant Soldier On the pavement in the 1970s Aldersbrook Estate.
753 Galinsoga quadriradiata Shaggy Soldier Shaggy Soldier is plentiful along the pavement and in the kerbs of Godwin Road, Forest Gate, near to the Forest Gate Hotel, and found in similar environments elsewhere.
776 Phoenix canariensis Canary Palm Occasionally planted in gardens, but are scarcely hardly in this part of Britain. This one in Wanstead Park Avenue is no longer present.
776 Trachycarpus fortunei Chusan Palm The specimen photographed is in a front garden in Warren Road, Wanstead. There is a particularly fine tree in a front garden by the Romford Road in Little Ilford.
798 Schoenoplectus lacustris Bulrush By Frying Pan Pond in the Gilbert's Slade area of southern Epping Forest.
801 Galium eragrostis Pale Galingale Only seen growing in the gutter of Wanstead Park Avenue, Aldersbrook.
816 Carex pendula Pendulous Sedge The specimen photographed was in Tarzy Wood, Wanstead, but it can often be found in front gardens where it can be a pervasive weed.
855 Briza maxima Large Quaking Grass A few of these plants were growing at the base of front-garden walls in adjacent houses in Wanstead Park Avenue, Aldersbrook. 
927 Musa spp. Banana The impressive plant photographed was in the small back garden of a house adjacent to Browning Road, Leytonstone.
943 Galanthus nivalis Snowdrop In St. Mary's Churchyard, Wanstead, and in Aldersbrook Wood.  
945 Narcissus spp. Daffodil Certainly not of wild origin, but sometimes introduced into areas outside of parks and gardens, such as here in Aldersbrook Wood.
949 Ruscus aculeatus Butcher's Broom Only known to occur - apart from perhaps in parks and cemeteries - as a single plant in Aldersbrook Allotments. Whether this was planted deliberately is uncertain, as it wasn't on one of the plots.
956 Crocus tommasinianus Early Crocus The photograph is an example from Tarzy Wood in Wanstead. It also grows in the grass verge along St. Mary's Avenue, Wanstead.