These were photographed during a walk through sand dunes.
The pics came out the opposite order in which I attached them, so read comments from bottom up!
The bottom one looks like a parasitic species to me, some kind of broomrape, (Orobanche)? It was sticking straight up out of the sand, not far fromn the path. It was about 10-12 cm tall if I remember (will have to take a tape measure on walks!) There were other plants nearby but have no idea which it might be infesting.
The next two look like species of stock. I think the first is Matthiola sinuata, it was fairly tall and robust (a foot high or more); and the seed pods were long, wavy and stuck out at odd angles. The yellow one was much smaller and more slender.
The top one must be one of the Umbelliferae, but I haven't been able to find it. Sorry it isn't very clear, and shows no leaves, but I was more interested in the beetle at the time (please identify that as well if you can!)
If anyone knows of a good online picture key of seashore plants I would be grateful. The only identification guide I have is my trusty Keble Martin, but often find it difficult to find a plant that resembles the one found - especially as Botany is my weakest subject.
The Yellow Brassica is most likely Hoary Mustard (Hirschfeldia incana) but it's difficut to tell from the picture. You correctly identified Matthiola sinuata, it is a very rare plant in GB. I'm currently studying it for my MSc dissertation so it would be really helpful to me if you could let me know the location of the one you found please? also did you notice any others (rosettes maybe)?
Also, the last one is a broomrape. The umbel is probably wild carrot - I see it quite often in the dunes around Swansea.
Hi Meg, thank you so much for this helpful reply. It really bugs me if I don't know what something is and it looks interesting!
Any idea what species of broomrape, and what it might be feeding off?
Re the Matthiola, there seemed to be plenty of them in that section of dunes; though I haven't been down that way since to make sure. It was interesting to hear that you are actually studying it for a dissertation. I will try to take another walk and identify the location more accurately. If you are in the Swansea area you might also want to go and see for yourself, as it was in Aberavon, Port Talbot (SA12 I think). There is a small car park at the docks end of the prom just by a breakwater where fishermen and surfboarders usually stop. If you park there and walk towards the docks, there is a footpath that runs through the dunes, behind a new housing estate. You would eventually get to the river mouth and harbour on that path; but the Matthiola plants I saw were not as far along as that. There is a lot of sea holly (Eryngium) in that section too.
Had another look today. The main clump of Matthiola is at the edge of the path, on the straight part of the footpath, after the houses end and before you get to a bend (i.e. the houses are still in sight). I saw quite a few rosettes too, but the main clump is in that area. Perhaps 200-300 yds after the end of the houses, as a rough estimate, on your left, away from the sea.
You will also find Bar Gallois on the roundabout at the end of the prom if you need some refreshment. They do nice meals.