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January 2008 No. 107

Edited by Trevor J ames & Gwynn Ellis

Silene catholica close up of inflorescence

Silene catholica in cultivation, Wombourne, (v.c. 39).

Both photos Christopher Westall © 2007 (see p. 32)
Contents ............................................................. 1 Collecting seeds for the Millennium Seed
EditoriaL ............................................. .. G. Ellis 2 Bank project... .......... S. Alton & K. Walker 42
Tony Primavesi - 90 not out... .......... .. R. Maskew 2 Sorbus xvagensis .............................. .D. Price 44
A note from the new Receiving Editor. T. James 3 Surrey Botanical Society.......... .... ... ...... ..... ..... 44
Notes Notices
A simple relational database for ecological Climate Change and Systematics...... ..... ........ 45
recording ................................... .A. Hannah 4 William Turner ofMorpeth, Northumberland
Plant status - alien v. native ..... .... .D. Pearman 5 (l508-l568) ..................................B. Harle 45
Discovery of Alopecurus borealis & Carex Vegetative ID Quiz ................... ...... .J Poland 45
vaginata in the Yorks. Dales .. .L. Robinson 6 Gofynne seed list 2008 ................ ....... A. Shaw 46
Gall in Juniperus communis ..............F. Sarker 7 Field meeting reports: 2006 - 2007
English names of plants revisited ........ E. Pratt 7 Keltneyburn (v.c. 88). J. McIntosh & A. Gocifrey 46
Isolepis cernua extinct in E Britain? ....B. Leaney 8 Birks 0' Aberfeldy (v.c. 88).1. McJntosh &!. Green 47
Poa palustris by the R. Tweed..... M Braithwaite 10 Rothamsted (v.c. 20) . .1. Denholm & T. James 47
Crassula tillaea in E Ross .. .B. & B. Ballinger 11 Hertford Heath & Broxbourne Woods
Vernation in Platanus ............ MJ.P. Scannell 12 (v.c. 20) ........................................ T. James 48
Surrey's 'missing' herbaria.............A. San/my 13 St Cyrus (v.c. 91) ...... .1. Green & J. McIntosh 49
Asplenium septentrionale in Kent. .. J. Edgington 16 West Donegal (v.c. H35) .............. J. Faulkner 49
Gardens and the open countryside .. .D. Pearman 18 Dunnyduff(v.c. 94) ...........1. Green &J. McIntosh 52
ID ofWater-crowfoot populations. R. Lansdown 20 Glynhir (v.c. 44) ............................... .K. Pryce 52
Lotus angUstissimus & L. subbiflorus in Durness (v.c. 108) ......................P. & 1. Evans 55
Sussex ........... ..... .P. Abraham & A. Knapp 22 Grass ID days ( 25 & 27) ....... A. Copping 56
Viviparous Trifolium repens .............. E. Pratt 23 Gordon & R. Tweed (v.c. 81). M Braithwaite 57
Nipping ID in the bud.................. ... .J Poland 24 Mid-Perths. (v.c. 88)A. Godfrey & J. McIntosh 58
Margaret Baecker: still 'going strong' Isle of Man (v.c. 71) ........................ .L. Moore 59
at 105!. ......................................... M Foley 26 Arisaig (v.c. 97) ............................ .1. Strachan 60
Increase in Artemisia campestris ssp. Watersmeet (v.c. 4) ........... T. Rich & D. Cann 61
maritima at Crosby sand dunes.P.H. Smith 28 Correction to meeting report
Botany in Literature - 46 ......... .M!. Souchier 29 Browndown and Gilkicker (v.c. 11) .. M Rand 62
Aliens Report of the Annual Exhibition
Lappula squarrosa in Surrey Meeting 2007............................ .... A. Showier 62
................... ............ .D. Skinner & R. Jones 31
Book Notes
Melampodium montanum in S. Hants Book reviews for Watsonia
.............................................. G. Hounsome 31 ....................... .A. Chater & J. Edmondson 65
Silene catholica still in v.c. 37 ........ c. Westall 32 Conserving the flora of limestone dry stone
Cordyline australis in 21 & 17 walls: an advisory booklet.. .....J. Presland 66
.................... E.J Clement & G. Hounsome 33 The wild flowers of the Isle of Purbeck. .E. Pratt 67
Bupleurum -look-alikes .............. M Southam 34 Flora ofMonmouthshire Launch............. E. Wood 68
An unusual collection of aliens in Obituary notes .............................. .... M Briggs 69
Co. Dublin............................. ... P.R. Green 36
Recorders and Recording
Senecio inaequidens in Aberdeen .. R.A. Eades 37
Panel ofReferees ...................... MC. Sheahan 71
An update on Dittrichia graveolens .. M Rand 37
Panel of Vice-county recorders .. .D. Pearman 71
Crocus vernus x C. tommasinianus in
Notes from the Officers
Bradford ........... B.A. Tregale & M Wilcox 38
From the Head of Research and Development
More about Limonium hyblaeum in Dorset
...................................................K. Walker 72
and Sussex .............................E.J. Clement 39
Coordinator's Corner. ................... .A. Lockton 73
Requests & offers Home needed for BSBI journals .......R FitzGerald 75
Encouraging an awareness of Diary ................................................................. 75
plants ................................. ME. Bradshaw 41 Deadline for BSBI News 108 ........................... 75
Botanist needed - do you specialise in Administration and Important addresses ..... 76
Himalayan plants? ........................E. Pratt 42
Cover picture - Melampyrum pratense ssp. pratense var. hians Castell Du SSSI (v.c. 44)
Photo R. Pryce © 2007 (see p. 52)
2 Editorial

GWYNN ELLIS, General Editor
I am delighted to welcome to the fold our new Congratulations also to Nick Stewart on
Receiving Editor, Trevor James. He has taken winning this year's Marsh Christian Award for
all (or most) of the contributions, that arrived in Botanical Conservation. This is for 'a lifetime's
various formats, and converted them into stand- achievement to an individual who has made an
ard Word documents. On the next page he has outstanding contribution in the field of botanical
set out several guidelines and it would be conservation Previous winners have included
extremely useful if all potential contributors Phil Wilson, Ro FitzGerald and David Pearman!
could read these carefully and follow them as far And to Trevor Evans on the publication of his
as possible. Flora of Monmouthshire; surely one of the most
One point that I would like to emphasise here original Floras of recent years and incredible
is the need for illustrations to be accompanied by value for money.
a caption giving all necessary details; and this
includes the name of the photographer and date Corrigendum
as well as the subject of the photograph and In BSBI News 106: 40, due to slack proofreading
locality. the word 'venation' on lines 9 and 12 should read
Observant readers may have noticed the 'VERNATION' - my apologies to Maura
gradual removal of vernacular names from titles Scannell for this error.
of notes. There are two reasons for this; firstly Where are they now: If any member knows
to reduce the length of the title which can the present whereabouts of any of the following
become quite unwieldy if several taxa are members, I would be pleased to hear from them.
mentioned; and secondly, as only one name will 104611, Mr S P Corkhill, 8 Chapel Lane, Wimbome,
need to be indexed, this will cut the number of Dorset, BH21 IPP
entries. 059306, Mr J Edelsten, 19 Macrae Court, Portsoy,
Perhaps contributors could keep the length in Banff, Aberdeenshire, AB24 2RE
mind when choosing a title. Not every note is 096317, Miss L J Healey, 3c Goda Road,
suitable for the short pithy titles of John Poland Littlehampton, West Sussex, BNI7 6AS
080151, Ms E Hickey, Cushinstown, Foulkesmills,
or Tim Rich's Cabbage Patch articles from a
Co. Wexford, Ireland
decade or more ago (which still raise a chuckle 088144, Miss L Hutchby, 8 Bullington End Road,
in these old bones), but it should rarely be neces- Castlethorpe, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK19 7ER
sary to need more than one line! This is in no 093512, Mr R Kennedy, 11 Edmund Street, Walsden,
way a criticism of any current authors but Todmorden, 0L14 7ST
something which I have only recently thought of 093423, Dr J J H Kirby, Homefield, Queen's Street,
while doing some preliminary planning for the Hook Norton, Banbury, Oxon, OX15 5PH
next News Index! 093059, Dr S J Langdon, Sundean, Barton Road,
Barton, Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 7HU
I am delighted to send our congratulations to 099626, Mrs & Mr T Penfield, 2 Croftside, York,
Tony Primavesi on reaching 90 not out and am Y0265LT
grateful to Roger Maskew for the note which 079790, Mrs J I Wilkinson, Bibury Villa, Bar Hill,
follows at the foot of the page. Madeley, Cheshire, CW3 9QD.

Tony Primavesi - 90 not out

ROGER MASKEW, Coppice House, Banalls Lane, Stoke Bliss, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire,
Tony Primavesi celebrated his 90th
birthday on for much of that time. Apart from rather poor
the 18 th December (see Colour Section, Plate 4). eyesight Tony is otherwise in good health and
He has been a member of BSBI for 48 years and joined me on a rose-hunting trip as recently as
is best known for his invaluable work on Rosa last August.
Editorial - A note from the new Receiving Editor 3

A note from the new Receiving Editor

TREVOR JAMES, 56 Back Street, Ashwell, Baldock, Herifordshire, SG75PE
Gwynn will no doubt have given a great spaced. If you send me typewritten copy,
sigh of relief at not having had everything please make it double-spaced.
to do to bring this issue of BSBI News to • It is also not necessary to format your text
your doormat! I would like to thank both to any great extent. In fact, with
him and Leander W olstenholme for their electronic copy, it is a distraction,
support in the "hand-over" to me. Leander because Gwynn wants me to send him
will be a hard act to follow, as he seems to everything in Times Roman typeface, 10
have effortlessly carried out his task, point size, without capitals (except for
largely behind the scenes, and the product names) and without fancy layouts! He
has always been excellent. does all the rest. So, the message is: the
The real thanks, of course, go to all those plainer the better! The only exception to
who have contributed so many interesting this is that scientific names should be in
items to this issue. Do keep them coming, italic font, and anything that needs to be
and especially all those photos and emphasised can be underlined.
drawings that we need to make the publica- • We have a few (very few) house rules
tion both useful and attractive. about how we present material. The first
I would just like to re-iterate a few notes is that names of plants are given as scien-
of guidance to contributors, so that we can tific name first, followed by their
make the job of publication as painless as accepted vernacular name in brackets.
possible for all of us: We try to make a point of including the
• I would prefer all text to come in vernacular name where we can in all
electronic format if at all possible, prefer- articles, for the benefit of less expert
ably as a WORD document, although if botanists! English names follow those
you have not got Microsoft software, used in Stace (1997) where available.
Rich Text Format copy (.rtf) is fine. I Scientific names usually follow the BSBI
can scan documents, but sometimes it Vascular Plant List available on the
turns out to be quicker to re-type them, website, unless there is a reason not to.
so, if you have already done so, it is best References have a standard format (take
to just let me have your electronic origi- a look at those in previous issues as a
nal, not a printed copy. guide).
• Remember, you can send me your copy Apart from these straightforward require-
by email ( ments, we continue to be happy to publish
as long as it is not a massive file (I am on pretty well anything of interest to our
broadband internet). This also applies to readership about or relating to the vascular
photos, as long as they are not a massive plants and charophytes of the British Isles;
size. Beware of "bitmap" or TIF formats and about plants that have arrived or may
for this reason (although they tend to be arrive here from elsewhere. We particu-
of higher quality, so may be OK). larly welcome contributions from newcom-
Remember that photos and other illustra- ers - don't feel shy! Finally, if your piece
tions are best sent as separate files does not make it to the next publication, we
electronically, not embedded in WORD will hold over material for a future one, so
files. don't give up.
• If your copy is handwritten, it helps me if A Happy N ew Year to all.
you write on one side of the paper, well-
4 Notes - A simple relational database for ecological recording

A simple relational database for ecological recording

ANGUS HANNAH (Recorder, v.c. 100), Glenmore, Rothesay, Isle o/Bute, PA20 OQU

Some members may feel as I do that it is four extra fields in this table for the Ellenberg
desirable to record more information than the values ofL, F, Rand N copied from Hill et al.,
mere existence of a plant at a given place and 2004, and this is where further attribute fields
date. I offer an account of a simple way to do could be added to broaden the scope of one's
this in the hope that a few readers may be enquiries.
encouraged to try it for themselves, and proba- The 'Sites' table includes 'Site ID', along
bly come up with something better than I have. with fields describing features of the site, such
The only constraints upon my recording for as grid reference, altitude, slope, land use, etc,
this database are that I must define the location and a further field, 'Category ID', of which
and extent of the site (anything from 1m2 more shortly. There is also a space for
upwards, most often about 4m x 4m, but describing the plot location and perhaps
occasionally much larger) and try to record indicating why it was chosen for recording. I
every species present along with a DAFOR frequently revisit plots in order to get a
value (1-5) to indicate its abundance within complete picture of what is present throughout
the plot. When recording in woodland, I the year, and records can contribute to pheno-
include tree species from the immediate vicin- logical studies.
ity as well as those inside the plot. The 'Records' table itself is very simple: it
By way of encouragement, before going into consists offour fields only: date, site ID, taxon
details, I will give some examples of results ID and frequency (the DAFOR value); and
that are immediately available, once a few this allows records to be entered very rapidly,
simple queries have been written. I can see a once the site details have been filled in. I do
list for my area of the types of habitat in which not use a form for data entry, as I find it is
any species occurs with varying degrees of more easily done by typing directly into the
frequency and abundance, a list of its most table. I should add that my records are made
frequent companion plants, its preferred levels on a customised sheet resembling a normal
of moisture, acidity and nutrient as indicated recording card, but with space for entering the
by the other plants growing on the site, and DAFOR values and essential site details, with
many other things. It seems to me that gather- taxon ID numbers corresponding to those used
ing such information, and having it easily in the database; and, as I also record common
available, greatly increases the interest and mosses (my competence does not extend to
value of our recording work, and well justifies rarer ones) these are included on the sheet.
the small additional labour of maintaining the One could use a standard recording card if
database. An additional benefit for MapMate BRC numbers were used for taxon ID and one
users is that there is no need to enter data wished to record only vascular plants.
twice. Creating an import file lets one enter a For many purposes, these three tables would
whole season's records into MapMate in a few suffice, but as I have a particular interest in the
minutes. relationship between plant communities and
My rudimentary database runs in Microsoft their habitats, and in the extent to which the
Access, and consists of four related tables NVC communities can be applied, or refined
called 'Taxa', 'Sites', 'Records' and and adapted to the needs of an area from which
'Categories'. 'Taxa' is, of course, a species no samples were available to their authors (see
list with associated ID nmnbers, which could Rodwell, 1991), I created a fourth table,
be either BRC or Kent numbers, but in my 'Categories', with a view to defining the
case are simple serial numbers. When a new phytosociological community and/or habitat
taxon has to be added, I simply insert a category to which a site should be assigned.
decimal figure at the appropriate point. I have This remains very much work in progress, and
Notes - A simple relational database for ecological recording / Plant status - alien v. native 5

no more should be said here. It is enough to tage is that every one has an 8-figure grid
indicate the open-endedness of this approach reference.
to recording, since the simple database can be References
developed in any way desired, to further one's HILL, M.O.; PRESTON, C.D. & Roy, D.B.
personal interests. In the course of recording 2004. Plantatt. CEH: Monks Wood,
for this database, I have amassed 12,000 Huntingdon.
records for 589 taxa on the Isle of Bute over RODWELL, J.S. (ed.). 1991. British plant
the last three years, and an incidental advan- communities, vol. 1. Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge.

Plant status - alien v. native

David Pearman, 'Algiers', Feock, Truro, Cornwall, TR3 6RA

I was pleased to receive a riposte from Dr or not. We are putting forward hypotheses
Peterken to my Watsonia paper, and as it to be tested, and if nobody puts them
happens I had a reply from Oliver Rackham too, forward they are never tested! One of our
also claiming native status for the Euphorbia, main points was that there had been no
and these two are far more expert foresters than serious work on this subject for the best part
I will ever be! However, I would like to mention of a century, despite the massive increase in
again three points that I covered in the paper. available research in so many fields.
• I went to great trouble to stress that I, like • Finally, once more, the reason for looking
Professor Webb, had considered a whole again at the available facts underlying native
range of criteria (ten in total) for a great or alien status is because of the obsession of
range of species, all in one exercise rather the conservation industry with nativeness.
than cherry-picking one species at a time, Simply, and this was set out more fully in the
and then had tried to come to a decision paper, this policy conserves natives and
based on all. Another point that, perhaps, I consigns perceived aliens to the pit! Archae-
did not make is that underlying and contrib- ophytes, long accepted on the Continent and
uting to the decisions we made is a scoring trailed here by Webb 20 years ago, were
system for each criterion. Thus there are ten promptly accepted here after the 'New Atlas'
criteria and a range of scores for each. Dr as 'honorary natives'. Quite right. I argued,
Peterken mentions three criteria (first record, at the end of my Watsonia paper, that the
semi-natural vegetation and disjunct distri- way is open for the conservationists to
bution), and, for his notes, concentrates on similarly accept that species whose status is
first records in his part of the world, which is uncertain, such as Fritillary, Meadow Clary
quite different from taking a countrywide and others listed at the end of my paper,
view. I would maintain that a local approach 'could well be included in conservation
is much less satisfactory, in that often odd efforts, on the grounds that they have
and special things are recorded first, and cultural resonance, act in harmony with
botanical exploration over the British Isles other species that we value in their habitats
was very uneven. and have a long association in those sites.
• I quite agree that the status of many species This would be all the more possible since
is uncertain (and for some this will always be almost all conservation efforts are perforce
so). The evidence lli poor - it is history, not concentrated on the management of the
real science. But, as I said, it does seem far habitat rather than the individual species
better to set out all the known facts before therein. Furthermore the list would not be
deciding whether to 'live with uncertainty' long.'
6 Notes - Alopecunts borealis and Carex vaginata in the Yorkshire Dales

The discovery of Alopecurus borealis and Carex vaginata in the

Yorkshire Dales (v.c. 65) with observations on Saxifraga hirculus
LINDA ROBINSON, The Cottage, Melmerby, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 lHN
On 23 rd July 2007 I went up Great Shulli1er only nine flowering stems. I think this flush is
Fell, the third highest mountain in the probably in its fmal stages of existence due to
Yorkshire Dales, to see the Saxifraga hirculus lack of grazing, build up of litter and shading
(Yellow Marsh-saxifrage) flushes. I was keen out by the Mossy Saxifrage.
to see their condition, as I had recently been Some research done by Michael Rawes and
told they had been ungrazed for the last 8 - 12 David Welch (Welch & Rawes, 1964) in the
years. I approached the fell from the east and 1950s and 1960s on Moor House National
wallced round the spring line just below the Nature Reserve in the northern Pennines on
summit, when, to my surprise, shortly after the effects of excluding sheep grazing from
crossing the Pennine Way at the southern end, high level grasslands, mentions a small 2m x
I came across a patch, approximately 30m x 2m exclosure being erected on part of a
30m, of Carex vaginata (Sheathed Sedge), a Saxifraga hirculus flush up Moss Bum. For
species only recently discovered in England the first three to four years the plant seemed to
by Rod Corner in 2002 in the northern do very well, but three years after that it had
Pennines (Corner, 2004). This was the first disappeared completely. A larger exclosure
record for v.c. 65 away from Mickle Fell in the known as Johnny's Flush in the same area had
Pennines where it was found by Dr. Corner, a very good Saxifraga hirculus flush running
Jeremy Roberts and myself on the northern through it. Here too the species has disap-
and southern slopes of the fell in 2005 (Corner peared (pers. comm.: Dr M.E. Bradshaw), and
et al., 2006). the exclosure is now very overgrown; species
The western edge of Great Shunner Fell has like Geum rivale (Water Avens) and Filipen-
some good calcareous flushes and here the dula ulmaria (Meadowsweet) doing very well
best and most amazing find of the day was a in its place.
flush with about 200 flowering heads of Saxifraga hirculus flushes do need reasona-
Alopecurus borealis (Alpine Foxtail), a new ble levels of grazing and trampling to open up
recordforv.c. 65 (see Colour Section, Plate 1). the sward and reduce competition, to maintain
This extends the British range of this species and keep them in good condition. The flushes
and the Sheathed Sedge by 26km (16 miles) have withstood quite high grazing levels in the
southwards, which more than doubles their past and it is noticeable how sheep tend to
previously known ranges in the northern congregate on them; indeed Dr Corner and I
Pennines. Tolmachev et al. (1995) state that have noted that when you see a high-level
the Alpine Foxtail's range extends south to 56" flush in the Pennines with a good number of
N in Arctic Labrador. The latitude of all the sheep on it, the Saxifrage is often present.
Pennines sites is less than 56" N, but the Great I think the flushes on Great Shunner Fell
Shunner Fell site is now the most southerly in need some grazing to ensure the survival of
the world, at latitude 54"22' N. Saxifraga hirculus, especially as it is a
Still on the western side I visited the protected species, being listed in Annexes II
Saxifraga hirculus flushes. The southemmost and IV of the EC Habitats Directive and
one was in a reasonable condition, with quite Appendix I of the Berne Convention. In the
a few basal shoots in evidence and a good U.K. it is protected under Schedule 4 of the
number of flowers. The northern flush is Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regula-
much smaller and was very overgrown with tions 1994 and Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and
large cushions of moss and Saxifraga Countryside Act 1981.
hypnoides (Mossy Saxifrage) up to knee There are other high level flushes on some of
height. There were no basal shoots visible and the surrounding fells which would possibly
Notes - Alopecurus borealis and Carex vaginata in the Yorks. Dales / Juniperus gall / English names 7

repay closer inspection. I think it highly likely CORNER, R.W.M. 2004. 'Carex vaginata
that some may have one or more of the afore- Tausch (Cyperaceae) a sedge new to Eng-
mentioned species present. land'. Watsonia 25: 127-130.
Acknowledgements CORNER, R.W.M., Roberts, FJ. & Robinson,
I would like to thank David We1ch for the L.M.2006. 'Sheathed Sedge Carex vagina-
copy of his and Michael Rawes' paper on ta: an update on its status in the Northern
effects of excluding sheep grazing in the Pennines'. BSBI News 101: 6-8.
northern Pennines. It was proving very hard TOLMACHEV, A.L., PACKER, lG. & GRIF-
to get hold of. I would also like to thank Dr FITHS, G.C.D. 1995. The Flora of the Rus-
M.E. Bradshaw for information confirming sian Arctic (English edition). Vol. 1. pp:
my memories of the exclosure known as 106-113. The University of Alberta Press,
'Johnny's Flush' on Moor House National Edmonton, Canada.
Nature Reserve in the northern Pennines and WELCH, D, & RAWES, M. 1964. 'The early
Rod Corner for information on the latitude of effects of excluding sheep from high-level
Alp'ine Foxtail. grasslands in the north Pennines'. J. Appl.
References Ecol. 1: 281-300.

Gall detected in Juniperus communis at High Force, Middleton-in-

FALGUNEE SARKER, Darlington & Teesdale Naturalists' Field Club, 1 The Mill Race, Croft-
On-Tees, Darlington, DL22TN
This gall (see Colour Section, Plate 1) was seen larva was seen. This bud-like gall is made by
in Juniperus communis (Juniper) at High Force, Oligotrophus juniperinus, a Cecidomyiid fly
Middleton-in-Teesdale (v.c. 65), looking like a (Diptera). The gall starts at the apex so that the
green bud. The outer structure of the 'bud' is cellular activity can be altered to create a home
made up of three Juniper needles fused togeth- for the larva.
er, the tip of which is curved outwards. Inside Reference
this elongated structure there were three smaller REDFERN, M. & SHIRLEY, P. 2002. British
needles, again fused together. Each needle had plant galls: identification of galls on plants
a deep central groove. In the centre, tightly and fungi. Field Studies Council, Preston
attached to the leaf groove, one orange in Montford, Shrewsbury.
colour, jelly like and elongated, segmented

English names of plants revisited

EDWARD PRATT, 7 Bay Close, Swan age, Dorset, BH191RE
I take the points made by Peter Horn (BSBI translations of the specific name in both cases.
News 106: 15) about the problems that calling However if any reader knows of another
Melittis melissophyllum Bee-bahn would cause. English name already in use for either of these,
So I suggest Foxglove-balm, because of its there should be time to amend my text if they
superficial resemblance to foxgloves. kindly write to me straight away, please. I have
Whilst on the subject of English names, I also given location-based names to two hybrids
have needed two for species which lack them which only occur in Britain in Purbeck:
for my forthcoming book, The Wild Flowers of Godlingston Sundew for Drosera xbelezeana,
The Isle ofPurbeck. I have chosen the follow- and Stoborough Pondweed for Potamogeton
ing: Savoy Hawkweed for Hieracium sabau- xsudermanicus. David Pearman, who discov-
dum; and Hairy-stemmed Hawkweed for ered the former and has researched the latter,
Hieracium trichocaulon. These are based on has kindly given his agreement.
8 Notes - Is Isolepis cernua near extinct in the east of Britain

Is Isolepis cernua near extinct in the east of Britain - or is it being

BOB LEANEY, 122 Norwich Road, Wroxham, Norfolk, NR12 8SA
In the September 2006 edition of BSBI News, species in the 49 mainly inland sites where
Simon Harrap reported some colonies of L setacea has been recorded, and where it may
Isolepis cernua (Slender Club-rush) from East have been overlooked, as at Swanton Abbott.
Norfolk (v.c. 27) that did not correspond to the A comparison of the two Atlas maps also
'standard descriptions' in Stace (1997) and suggests that L cernua may have been under-
Rose (1989), having 3 rather than 1 - 2 recorded in Norfolk for L setacea. Hectad
stamens and a main bract that "at least records for L setacea in its western stronghold
occasionally" was considerably longer than have roughly doubled, no doubt mainly
the spikelet. This finding was of particular because of better recording, and this is also the
importance because Norfolk is the only case in Norfolk. Records for L cernua have
eastern station left for this species. increased much the same in the west, but have
As it happens, in 2006 I had found a 'new' not increased significantly in Norfolk. There
colony ofL cernua in East Norfolk showing the does not appear to be any great difference in
latter character, and in fact showing the very habitat requirements to suggest that L cernua
long bract in the great majority of flowering should have suffered more losses than
spikes. On many occasions the bract was 2 - 3 L setacea in our area. So, once again, it seems
times the length of the spikelet, exactly as in likely that some of the 'extra' records for
Simon's photo. (no. 4). After reading his article L setacea could in fact be L cernua.
I had another look in 2007 and found that the Nevertheless, considering only known sites,
colony also showed the 3-stamen character. the picture for L cernua in Norfolk appears
Despite the misleading spotting character of pretty bleak, with only five sites known in the
the long bract, the plants were otherwise last ten years. The species could be at risk of
typical for L cernua, with strikingly pale, regional extinction, the nearest extant colonies
greenish-white, single spikelets and ridgeless outside Norfolk being in Hampshire.
nuts covered with minute papillae visible at With the discovery of this new colony, a
20x magnification (see illustrations). Norfolk Flora Group survey has now been
L cernua had not been previously recorded carried out, and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust is
from Swanton Abbott Low Common, a county making renewed efforts to arrange scrub clear-
wildlife site, whereas L setacea (Bristle Club- ance and cutting or grazing. This should
rush) is on record from the site. In view of the 'resurrect' the L cernua colony (down to one
misleading main bract character in the Norfolk plant this year, but no doubt in the seed bank),
population, one wonders if L cernua has been and also save the small colonies of other local
missed elsewhere as well. rarities, such as Hypericum elodes (Marsh St
After consulting with the vice-county John's-wort), Blechnum spicant (Hard Fern),
recorders, I have managed to unearth a total of Carex echinata (Star Sedge), Eleogiton
12 past records for L cernua in Norfolk, and it jluitans (Floating Club-rush) and Potamoge-
is of interest that only three of these are within ton polygonifolius (Bog Pondweed). A search
a mile of the sea, most being well inland. The of other L setacea sites over the next few years
three standard descriptions (Clapham et al., could turn up more L cernua, so that similar
1962; Rose, 1989; Stace, 1997) all describe conservation work can be arranged.
this species as occurring near the sea or not far Acknowledgements
inland, so this is another reason that it may I would like to thank the two vice-county
have been overlooked in Norfolk. The two recorders, Bob Ellis (v.c. 27) and Gillian
Isolepis species do grow together, and it would Beckett (v.c. 28), for help with this article.
be very worthwhile to look out for the rarer
Notes - Is Isolepis cernua near extinct in the east of Britain 9

References PRESTON, C.D.; PEARMAN, D.A. & DINES,

BECKETT, G; BULL, A. & STEVENSON, R. T.D. 2002 New atlas of the British & Irish
1999. Aflora of Norfolk. Privately printed, flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Norfolk. ROSE, F. 1989. Colour identification guide to
CLAPHAM, A.R.; TUTIN, T.G. & WARBURG, the grasses, sedges, rushes and ferns of the
E.F. 1962. Flora of the British Isles. 2nd ed. British Isles and north-western Europe.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Viking, London.
RARRAP, S. 2006. 'Isolepis cernua: do differ- STACE, C.A. 1997. New flora of the British
ent?' BSBI News 103: 13. Isles 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press,
PERRlNG, F.R & WALTERS, S.M. 1976. Atlas Cambridge.
of the British flora. 2nd ed. BSBI.

Fruiting spikes & nuts x 1

Nut x 20

Flower x 30 Inflorescence x 8

Isolepis cernua (Slender Club-rush), Swanton Abbott Low Common, Norfolk, 20/7/2006 &
10 Notes - Poa pa/ustris by the River Tweed

Poa palustris by the River Tweed

MICHAEL BRAITHWAITE, Clarilaw, Hawick, Roxburghshire, TD98PT
History Rorippa sylvestris or Agrostis stolonifera, or
Poa palustris (Swamp Meadow-grass) was on hummocks of ground that are elevated by
first found by the Tweed in August 1913 by a few centimetres from the surrounding
Miss Ida Hayward below Galashiels. It was vegetation. The colonies are all somewhat
subsequently found to be plentiful on the linear, in areas up to about lOOm x 20m. The
banks of the Gala Water and by the Tweed individual plants are 30-130cm tall and
between Galashiels and Melrose NT53, flower from July to September.
79,80. This habitat is a highly localised by the
A few subsequent records were made in v.c. Tweed where so much of the margin is well
80, but these were from ruderal habitats away defined, without pools or backwaters, or with
from the river, the last in 1963 by Mary these being colonised by tall dominants. Poa
McCallum Webster at Galafoot NT53, in palustris has not been found at all in the
association with wool aliens. There were no lower Tweed where Glyceria maxima (Reed
further records by the Tweed until 2006 when Sweet-grass) has recently come to dominate
Dr Roderick Corner found it at the edge of a such pools and backwaters. The Tweed
pool at Monksford Bank NT53, V.c. 80 experienced record floods in October 2005
(Watsonia 26: 507). and it is possible that this event scoured out
In 2007, ignorant of the recent record, I channels that have vegetated gradually since
found Poa palustris at Lees Haugh above then, allowing Poa palustris to re-colonise
Coldstream NT83 and subsequently below from a seed bank. If so, the presence of this
Dryburgh NT53 and above Birgham NT73, grass may prove to be only temporary in at
all in v.c. 81. Further records were made by least some of its localities.
Luke Gaskell and Roderick Corner below Discussion
Kittyfield NT53 (2 colonies) and at Kelso Poa palustris has sometimes been considered
NT73, V.c. 80. All these records are by the a British native, as it is very widely distrib-
Tweed. uted in northern Europe, Asia and America
Habitat around the fringes of the boreal zone (Hulton
Poa palustris occupies a distinctive habitat & Fries, 1986), and it is something of an
by the Tweed. This is an open community anomaly if it is not native in Britain.
around pools and runnels back from the main However it was not recorded in Britain until
watercourse, which is kept free from tall 1800 and then only in cultivation, being first
dominants such as Ph alaris arundinacea found in the wild in 1879 by the Thames at
(Reed Canary-grass) and Impatiens glandu- Kew and in Scotland in 1889 by the Tay
lifera (Indian Balsam) by the periodic scour- below Perth v.c. 89, an area in which it still
ing of floodwater. Its most frequent grows (pers. comm. Martin Robinson). Most
associates in 12 sample plots were: Rorippa of the British records have been in ruderal
sylvestris (Creeping Yellow-cress): 10 plots; habitats and it has been considered a
Ph alaris arundinacea (but only as isolated neophyte in recent publications. Stewart et
depauperate plants): 7; Cirsium arvense al. (1994) contains an excellent account of
(Creeping Thistle): 4; Agrostis stolonifera Poa palustris by John Edmondson.
(Creeping Bent): 3; and Rumex obtusifolius While the history of Poa palustris by the
(Broad-leaved Dock): 3. Willows such as Tweed illustrates how elusive the plant can be,
Salix purpurea (Purple Willow) and it does not offer much support for native
S. viminalis (Osier) may grow close at hand. status. The known distribution falls neatly
Typically the Poa palustris is found in a into the section of the Tweed most colonised
series of modest tufts in a mat of either by neophytes, some originating as wool aliens
Notes - Poa palustris by the River Tweed / Crassula tillaea - its spread and spread in East Ross-shire 11

brought in with the wool trade to Galashie1s. PRESTON, C.D., PEARMAN, D.A. & DINES,
Nevertheless Poa palustris is now demon- T.D. 2002. New Atlas of the British and
strated to have been present by the Tweed as Irish flora. Oxford University Press, Ox-
well as the Tay for a century or more and ford.
search should be made in other places where it HULTON, E. & FRIES, M. 1986. Atlas of
was recorded in the past, notably in the Hebri- north European plants north ofthe tropic of
des along the western coast of South Uist. Cancer. 3 vols. Konigstein Koeltz scientific
There remains the outside chance of evidence books.
emerging of native status in some at least of its STEWART, A., PEARMAN, D.A. & PRESTON,
Scottish localities. C.D. 1994. Scarce plants in Britain.
References JNCC, Peterborough.
HAYWARD, 1. M & DRUCE, G.C. 1919. The
adventive Flora of Tweedside. T. Buncle,

Crassula tillaea - its spread and spread in East Ross-shire

BRlAN & BARBARA BALLINGER, 5 Shaftesbury Park, Dundee, DD2 lLB
Crassula tillaea (Mossy Stonecrop) is a In subsequent years we have found it in
small annual plant growing mainly on eight further sites, now away from railway
gravel tracks, car parks and open ground, stations, mainly in rural locations (see map).
formerly regarded as being scarce in the These have been in relatively fine gravel on
British Isles. Most records are from south- tracks and car parks, scattered over the east
ern England, especially Dorset and East of the vice-county and in one disused gravel
Anglia. Croft, in the New Atlas (Preston et quarry. All the sites are in different hectads
aI., 2002), noted an apparent expansion in (see map).
range and Pearman (in litt.) has reported The reason for this plant's widespread
continued colonization of sites in Cornwall, appearance in this area is unclear. It is very
where it first appeared in 1988. small and insignificant (see Colour Section,
In Scotland records are relatively recent Plate 4), although the red colour of the plant
and infrequent. It was growing as a weed in later in the season is striking. The recent
the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden in spread may be associated with the railway,
1978 (Smith, Dixon and Cochrane, 2002), with transport by vehicle tyres or gravel
and there are a few records from Moray and introduction. It is also possible that climate
East Inverness-shire from 1968 onwards change may be a factor in its spread and
(Webster, 1978; Preston et al.,2002). improved chance of survival in the north.
We first discovered Crassula tillaea in References
Easter Ross (v.c. 106) in 2001, whilst doing CROFT J.M. 2002. 'Crassula tillaea' in:
a survey of railway station vegetation. It Preston D.; Pearman D.A. & Dines, T.D.
grew in the gravel at Dingwall station New Atlas of the British & Irish Flora.
(where it persists) and in the car park at Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Invergordon station, where it could not be SMITH, P.M.; DrXON, R.O.D. & COCHRANE,
refound in 2007, perhaps because of M.P. 2002. Plant life of Edinburgh and
increased tidiness of station premises. We the Lothians. Edinburgh University Press,
also noted it further north in East Sutherland Edinburgh.
at Kinbrace station. As it was unexpected WEBSTER, M.M. 1978. Flora of Moray,
and small, identification was initially a Nairn and East Inverness. Aberdeen
problem, but our tentative naming was University Press, Aberdeen.
confirmed by Ray Stephenson.
12 Notes - Crassula tillaea - its spread and spread in East Ross-shire / Vemation in Platanus

Map. Crassula tillaea in Easter Ross (v.c. 106)

Vernation in Platanus
M.lP. SCANNELL, 43 Raglan Road, Dublin 4, Eire

In the section on vernation in the 3rd (1933) the buds open, that they cause an annual
edn of l Small's A textbook of Botany for epidemic of catarrh (by irritation of the
medical, pharmaceutical and other students mucus membrane) in the districts of
(l & A. Churchill, London) there is the London where this hybrid plane tree is
following reference to the winter buds of trees, largely grown in the streets.
The London Plane (Platanus acerifolia
[Po xhispanicaJ) has its lateral buds Corrigendum
protected by the bases ofleaf-stalks .... The In BSBI News 106: 40, due to slack proof
young leaves are covered with short reading by the writer [and the editor!] the
brownish hairs which become stiff and word venation on lines 9 and 12 should read
rigid before the bud opens, and these hairs VERNATION.
are thrown off in such large numbers, when
Notes - Surrey's 'missing' herbaria 13

Surrey's 'missing' herbaria

ANN SANKEY, 3 Glenrose, Old London Road, Mickleham, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6BY
Early in 2007, our President, Richard Gornall, Kingston, nor whether they have an herbarium
asked me in could trace some ofthe herbaria collection.
in Surrey for which there was no up to date One consequence of my county-wide appeal
information. This investigation has proved to was that a wooden box full of herbarium
be an interesting and fruitful one, with at least sheets was located at Dorking. The collection
two important small collections being brought of well over 100 plants is annotated with
to light. details of common name, genus, species,
One of the first things I did was to ask a class, sub-class and natural order. Location
friend to circulate my request for information and date are also recorded. The dates are in
to all the curators of museums in Surrey. This the late 1880s and most of the flowers etc.
was limited to administrative Surrey, so there derive from the Brampton area of Northamp-
may be other small collections lurking in the ton; but there are also examples from Dorking
London area of v.c. 17. From this initial chalk pits, Ranmore and Westcott. They were
request, I learnt that herbaria are kept at made by Theodore Payne, an apprentice
Camberley and Haslemere but not at Godalm- nurseryman. He later emigrated to the USA
ing. Herb. GOD refers to the Charterhouse where he became a very successful nursery-
Herbarium - see below. In addition, a small man. Dorking Museum does not have the
collection was discovered at Dorking. facilities to look after this collection, so it has
One of the 'missing' herbaria probably did been transferred to Northampton.
not exist. Dr C.T. Prime, author of the New The collection at Camberley, in the Surrey
Naturalist monograph Lords and Ladies was a Heath Museum, is fairly small but could be
master at the Whitgift School in Croydon. By interesting. The herbarium pages come from
all accounts, he was an inspirational teacher two collecting periods. The majority of them
but he did not encourage his pupils do go out were collected c.1936 and bear labels printed
collecting plants. He did, however make some with the heading 'Oxford University Depart-
voucher specimens of important species and ment of Botany, Ecological Herbarium'. They
these are now at the South London Botanical have been collected from Wiltshire and
Institute. It was Prime who oversaw the trans- Berkshire. The later ones are part of a local
fer of the Croydon Herbarium to this institute, project carried out c.1967 on the varieties of
which now holds about 150,000 sheets. These conifers in the grounds of Tekels Park in
are well-curated but not catalogued. Many are Camberley, which involved taking specimens
of species local to Surrey and a portion of J.E. of the leaves and also the cones. This work is
Lousley's herbarium is housed here. believed to have been done by members of
Also not lost is the John Evelyn Society's Camberley Natural History Society under the
herbarium. The John Evelyn Society in due direction of Miss Hilda Rendle; a former
course became the Wimbledon Society. The Curator of what was then Camberley Museum.
collection consists of about 700 specimens of In both cases the specimens have been
vascular plants, collected in the Wimbledon grouped into families and simply held in
area between 1900 and 1939, and 160 packets manilla folders. It is not known how the
ofbryophytes collected locally in 1985. There Oxford sheets came to be at Camberley as
is now an electronic list of the vascular plants. background information was not recorded in
Sadly though, any material that belonged to those days and the Museum was closed for a
the Guildford Natural History Society has now number of years in the 1980s, during which
been lost without trace. I have also been period the staff was disbanded. However,
unable to find out anything about the British there is a typed list dating from the early 1980s
[Empire] Naturalists' Association, based at which simply appears to list the specimens.
14 Notes - Surrey's 'missing' herbaria

To my knowledge, the collections have not the insect collection was transferred to Hasle-
been catalogued. mere, none of my contacts knew what had
The Haslemere Educational Museum is an happened to the herbarium. Had it been lost?
independent organisation, founded in 1888. It By coincidence, at the same time as I was
has a fairly large botanical collection compris- making my enquiries, Andrew Doran, the
ing around 65,000 specimens in total. Most of relatively new Curator of the University and
these, about 62%, are pressed herbarium Jepson Herbaria at the University of Califor-
specimens of flowering and non-flowering nia, Berkeley was taking possession, on
plants. The majority of the herbarium speci- pennanent loan, of this herbarium! He is an
mens are from the British Isles. The Joshua old Carthusian and had been enquiring about
Lamb (1856-1943) collection of British wild the collection for some years, fearing as we
flowers was made in the late 1800s. The more were, that it might have eventually been
unusual Lightfoot Collection is stored in 16 thrown out, particularly since one of the last
volumes and contains over 750 English vascu- curators of the Museum had left the school. It
lar plants. They were collected between the was found in storage in London and, although
1850s and 1880s, with the majority from the it was packed very badly, it has held up quite
1870s. Each plant specimen has a poem well with minimal pest damage.
accompanying it. The G.J. Lyon Collection This small herbarium of around 8,000 speci-
includes all known species of mosses in Great mens, in bound volumes and folders, dates
Britain up to 1849. The pages are bound back to the late eighteenth century and
together in one volume and are beautifully includes specimens from all over the British
preserved. It includes many rare species and a Isles, as well as collections from Europe, the
few specimens from Gennany and North Middle East, South Africa and east coastlmid-
America. These named collections provide a west United States. The collections are partic-
brief insight into the scope of the botany ularly significant since they document the
collection and reflect a concentration of effort flora of Greater London during a time of great
from the 1800s to the mid-twentieth century. expansion and many vouchers represent
The herbarium at Haslemere is well-main- species no longer found in London and
tained and curated. Around 75% ofthe collec- surrounding counties (see photo, p. 15). The
tion has been catalogued and there is an collection also contains seven fascicles of the
ongoing documentation project to get as many Flora of the Neighborhood of Godalming or
backlog items catalogued as possible. A brief the 'Surrey Folios' by John Drew Salmon
look in their database for the Surrey species (1802-59), the vouchers of which served as the
that are Red Listed as Critically Endangered or basis for James Brewer's Flora of Surrey
Endangered showed that there are new sites (1863), one of the first county floras which
for quite a number of these species and that established the fonnat that is now familiar in
there are records for these species elsewhere in county floras. These folios were auctioned
the British Isles. As an example, there are two after Salmon's death.
records of Arabis glabra (Tower Mustard) Other highlights from the collections include
from Bramshott, Hampshire, collected by poet-botanist William Gardiner's Illustrations
W.M.E. Fowler on 16/5/1896 (see photo, of British Botany. This bound collection
p. 15) and by E. Larby on 11711925. This includes an immaculate presentation of algae,
collection is a valuable resource and the lichens, bryophytes and vascular plants.
Curator welcomes enquiries about it. Further investigation has revealed the
The other important herbarium that seemed presence of around eight volumes (previously
to have gone missing was that from Charter- recorded as two) of the Revd. Tullie
house School near Godalming. There used to Comthwaite (1807-78) from the exclusive
be a museum at the school but this was closed Forest School 1ll Walthamstow.
down a few years ago. It seemed that though Comthwaite's collections reveal fascinating
Notes - Surrey's 'missing' herbaria 15
16 Notes - Surrey's 'missing' herbaria / Asplenium septentrionale in Kent - native or alien?

connections with leading botanists of the day or look at

and even include collections cited in Frederick preliminary scans of the collection by visiting
Pursch's Flora Americana Septentrionalis the website and
(1814). Cornthwaite's cultivated collections selecting the collection 'Charterhouse'.
include records of early introductions into the There are two other herbaria in Surrey that
UK through Loddiges Nursery in Hackney, are not 'missing' but are less well-known. The
with other vouchers from Isaac Swainson's smallest and perhaps the most vulnerable is
Botanic Garden in Twickenham, unfortu- that belonging to the Holmesdale Natural
nately no longer in existance. Oleg Polunin, a History Society in Reigate. This is an old
former master of the school and author of society and it was they who published the first
various books on the flora of the Mediterra- Flora ofSurrey mentioned above. Included in
nean region, does not appear to have left any this herbarium are sheets dating to back to this
herbarium specimens at the school. The period. I understand that the only cataloguing
Charterhouse herbarium will be housed consists of hand-written lists.
separately from that of the University of The herbarium at RHS Wisley is of course
California due to its bound nature and closely world-famous for its specimens of cultivated
correlated collections. Many of the volumes plants. What is less well-known is that it also
are also oversized and will be stored in a holds some interesting local native species.
custom-designed cabinet. With the historical These include Arnoseris minima (Lamb's
side of the collections still unravelling, Succory) collected by C.C. Titchmarsh in
Andrew anticipates launching new web pages 1912 and Mentha pulegium (Pennyroyal)
highlighting development with this collection, collected in 1979 at a previously unknown site
and is working closely with conservators on by Candidate 49, a student at Wisley.
campus to document and curate the volumes There is certainly a wealth of information in
and specimens. Anyone interested in fmding these small collections in or from Surrey.
out more about the Charterhouse Herbarium
should contact Andrew at:

Asplenium septentrionale in Kent - native or alien?

JOlrn EDGINGTON, 19 Mecklenburgh Square, London, WC1N 2AD

It is satisfying to re-find a plant previously accept them'. In 2001 I searched a (the?) flint
assumed lost, especially when this leads to wall along Headley Lane, Box Hill, finding
more general considerations of distribution Ceterach officinarum (Rustyback) and a rather
and status. The story began when Fred distinctive variety of A. ruta-muraria (Wall-
Rumsey, who is compiling a checklist offerns rue) that could perhaps have been mistaken for
recorded growing on walls in Britain, kindly A. septentrionale - but no sign of the latter.
showed me his preliminary version. It The Kent record from Eric Philp' s Atlas of the
included Asplenium septentrionale (Forked Kentflora (1982) is more convincing: 'A fine
Spleenwort), found, I assumed, on some clump found by Mrs L.B. Burt on a bridge in
northern stone dyke. 'No', said Fred, there are the Romney Marsh TRl02D. There is no
records from Surrey and Kent. Indeed there suggestion this has been planted or has
are. In C.E. Salmon's posthumous Flora of escaped from cultivation'. Mrs Burt was
Surrey (1931) we read 'Flint wall Uf. Box Hill, active around 1970 and in Preston et al. (2002)
1911, 1916, 1917, c.E.S.', and a similar her record appears with a date-class 1970-
record from Dorking, with a cautious, not to 1986. The tetrad is more than 300km from
say sceptical, comment by the flora's editor, any other British site.
W.H. Pearsall: 'Under a less weighty signa- Having nothing better to do on a bright day
ture than that of C.E.S. one would hesitate to in October 2007, I drove down to Romney
Notes - Asplenium septentrionale in Kent - native or alien? 17

Marsh and started to look at bridges - of tion from a single spore; great species longev-
which there are many, the marsh being criss- ity; and an undisturbed open site with minimal
crossed by drainage ditches. Against all competition. I see no reason to doubt that
reasonable expectations, on my second bridge airborne spores were likewise responsible for
I found not one, but six plants, growing on a the Rornney Marsh colony. The nearest sites,
south-facing brick parapet otherwise almost between 100 and 200km away, are in France
devoid of life apart from a crustose lichen, (Departments of Calvados and Nord) and
probably Tephromela atra - (see Colour Belgium, and if, as is supposed, winds can
Section, Plate 2). The plants are small, no carry the much heavier seeds of Orchidaceae
frond being longer than 35 mm, but, like most across the Channel (Serapias parviflora
Asplenium species, highly fertile. The edaphic perhaps being one example), fern spores need
preferences of T. atra and A. septentrionale only a gentle zephyr. This is also Eric Philp's
are similar (exposed siliceous substrates) and view.
presumably the bricks of this wall meet both If so, and assuming the FrenchlBelgian sites
their needs, as does the open southerly outlook are themselves native, then A. septentrionale
with total absence of shade. A bridge is shown is native here too (,arrived ... without interven-
here on Old Series OS maps of c.18l9. The tion by man ... from an area in which it is
present structure appears to be late Victorian. native'). The editors of New atlas of the
Eric Philp has written to say that, after British & Irish flora (Preston et al., 2002)
initially confirming Breda Burt's record of disagree. The Rornney Marsh record has a red
one plant, and later finding as many as three dot, an alien. Is this because the fern is,
on the same wall, he could not locate them unusually for this species, growing on a wall?
during one hot summer, nor subsequently, an Holderegger and Schneller mention a Swiss
absence confirmed by Pat Acock who record of 1922, also on a wall by a railway.
searched thoroughly in the 1980s. A. septen- Would a rock-face have been an acceptable
trionale is very slow-growing and can escape native site? Although most Asplenium species
notice for years. Its re-discovery after more occur predominately on walls, where the
than 20 years may be due, like the persistence showier species are still occasionally planted,
of Rustyback on walls that are scraped clean all records for every other species of Asple-
in fits of civic tidiness, to the tenacity of nium are admitted as native (including that of
rhizomes that remain viable despite removal their relation Ceterach officinarum on a wall
or die-back of the rest of the plant, though the at Loftus, V.c. 62, whose spores Christopher
increased number of plants suggests that a Lowe (2005) believes, for unspecified
considerable spore bank has built up. reasons, were imported with mortar - if so, it
How did it get to Rornney Marsh? In a study is alien here). Simon Leach (2003) has
of three colonies of A. septentrionale on touched on this contentious point in another
isolated erratic boulders in Switzerland, context.
likewise far from the nearest site, Holderegger There is a parallel with another cryptogam
and Schneller (1994) demonstrated that the record, that of Equisetum variegatum
colonies were genetically distinct and so (Variegated Horsetail) at Cothill (now Dry
represented separate founder events. Despite Sandford) Pit, V.c. 22. The pit was worked as
their small size (one has nine plants, another a quarry until the 1950s, when it was
15) the colonies have survived for 150 years, abandoned as calcareous springs appeared on
specimens having been added to the Zurich the floor. E. variegatum was found there in
herbarium at least every ten years. Holdereg- 1959, 120km from the next nearest site, and is
ger and Schneller concluded that these still present in quantity. Man provided the
isolated colonies satisfY three requirements for substrate, nature did the rest, and the New
establishment of permanent populations by atlas recognises this with a blue dot. It is hard
airborne spores: a capacity for self-fertilisa- to see the difference between the two cases.
18 Notes - Asplenium septentrionale in Kent - native or alien? / Gardens and the open countryside

References PHILP, E.G. 1982. Atlas of the Kent flora.

HOLDEREGGER, R. & SCHNELLER, I I 1994. Kent Field Club, Maidstone.
'Are small isolated populations of Aspleni- PRESTON, C.D., PEARMAN, D.A. & DINES,
um septentrionale viable?' Bio!. J. Linn. Soc. T.D. 2002. New atlas of the British & Irish
51: 377-385. flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
LEACH, S.l 2003. 'Roadside halophytes and SALMON, C.E. 1931. Flora of Surrey. Bell,
the native/alien conundrum'. BSBI News London.
LOWE, C.l 2005. 'Urban/suburban ferns'.
BSBI News 100: 28-29.

Gardens and the open countryside

DAVID PEARMAN, 'Algiers', Feock, Truro, Cornwall, TR3 6RA
Over the years I have become a keener and thele lessoniana). But the only introduc-
more ambitious gardener, but as befits a tion I regretted was a narrow flowered
botanist I have always been interested in Vinca, which wrecked an area of hedge,
what came up, and have left many arrivals and could not be exterminated. Bluebells
that I later regretted! I have kept rough gently increased, spreading from the oldest
notes of the rise or fall of species that hedge.
interested me, and have often wondered if However, there were two major invasives
others have likewise, especially given the that I never beat, and were far more
current interest in anticipating escapes into widespread by the time that I left. The
the wild from garden stock. worst was Hedera helix (Ivy). There were
For 22 years I gardened in Dorset, on odd patches in the older hedges in 1982,
chalk, at 550ft, about a third of an acre, SW two at least were large and produced good
facing and very exposed. We were crops of berries each autumn. By 2003 it
surrounded by fields on all sides. The NE was dominant in all the hedges, old and
boundary was a very old hedge by the old new, was growing into the lawns, and all
road to the downs above, with many this despite constant action, uprooting,
shrubby species. There were other newish pruning, and mowing. The other, more
hedges, but I completed the circumference. surprising thug was Allium ursinum
Most of the garden weeds were persistent (Ramsons). This was only along the oldest
over the whole period, but weeding was a hedge, with perhaps 30 mature plants in
chore rather than an ordeal! Aegopodium 1982. Despite poisoning (pointless) and
podagraria (Ground Elder) and Elytrigia endless hand weeding of the bulblets, as
rep ens (Couch) were always there in small- well as trying to cut the flowers before
ish patches, as was an area of Holcus mollis seeding, it spread along the hedge, out into
(Creeping Soft-grass), a patch of Circa ea the grass at one end, and into the adjoining
(Enchanter's Nightshade), lots of Taraxa- border at the other - hundreds and
cum (Dandelion) (seeding from the neigh- hundreds of young plants each year.
bouring hay-fields), and masses of In 2003 we moved to Cornwall, into a
Cardamine flexuosa (Wavy Bittercress), much larger garden, on very acid soils,
Veronica filiformis (Slender Speedwell) about an acre all told, at 150ft, SE facing
and V. hederifolia (Ivy-leaved Speedwell) and almost sheltered. The main garden has
- I never cracked those. The most common Cardamine flexuosa, plenty of Epilobiums
introduced weed was Euphorbia serrulata (willowherbs), Geum urbanum (Wood
(Tintern Spurge), which had penetrated Avens), four species of Oxalis, Silene
every corner by the time I left, and the dioica (Red Campion) and Veronica heder-
elegant Stipa arundinacea (now Aneman- ifolia as the main weeds. I can cope, just
Notes - Gardens and the open countryside 19

with those, but am making no impression. hidden behind other books and I cannot lay
Much worse are Allium triquetrum (Three- my hands on it. There are recent papers by
cornered Leek) (cannot be poisoned, and Ken Thompson and colleagues at Sheffield
has to be hand weeded), Crocosmia (most recently in the February 2007 issue
(Montbretia) (ditto), and two plants I of the excellent British Wildlife magazine,
unwisely introduced - Briza maxima with a very full and useful list of references).
(Greater Quaking-grass) and Echium Can one find any common ground in the
pininana (Giant Viper's-bugloss) - which reports for the 1987-89 Monitoring Scheme
seed with dramatic vigour. I brought and with Local Change? Certainly, in the
Euphorbia serrulata and the Anemanthele latter, the section on 'Built-up areas and
from Dorset, and they have both seeded gardens'(BHI7) gives some pointers, as
prolifically, despite the completely differ- does that on 'Boundary and linear features'
ent soil. The worst weed, both in the open (BH3).
and in the densest shade, though it comes Is the position in the garden simply due
up easily, is Sedum stoloniferum (Lesser to absence from competition, with high
Caucasian Stone crop ), which was here fertility and high disturbance, coupled with
when I arrived, but I cannot make any much control (or attempted control) and
progress with exterminating. I think it is thus limited opportunities for perennials to
that species rather than S. spurium climax?
(Caucasian Stone crop ). Are there any lessons for potential alien
The wooded area, which slopes down to pests into the wider countryside? Despite
a streamlet, was a market garden at least till the search of the anti-alien lobby for the
1960, when it was planted with alien trees next invasive pest, I (whilst sharing their
and alien bluebells. This is carpeted with aspirations) remain very sceptical that one
Hedera helix subsp. hibernica (Western could even hazard any guess. To take my
Ivy) - huge long strands, rooting at the own experiences, Allium triquetrum and
nodes, and climbing every tree. This was Crocosmia are out in the open countryside
interspersed with many brambles and totally ineradicable; Lamiastum has
(including at least two Cornish endemics or many sites and is similarly ineradicable;
near endemics - moral dilemma here!!) and Briza maxima is everywhere but only a
self-sown ferns (Athyrium filix-femina local pest and of course there is Ivy, on
(Lady Fern), Dryopteris affinis (Golden- which I have become the archetypal bore
scaled Male Fern), D. dilatata (Broad (though like all bores, utterly convinced I
Buckler-fern), D.filix-mas (Male Fern) and am right), which in warm Cornwall utterly
Phyllitis scolopendrium (Hart's-tongue dominates every wood, hedge and many
Fern)). Where I have cleared the ivy then gardens. That leaves only the little Sedum
Geum urbanum, and Silene dioica stoloniferum, which I certainly cannot get
dominate, with much Sedum stoloniferum. rid of, and Anemanthele lessoniana, which
There was a small area of the variegated I am beginning to see elsewhere.
Lamiastrum galeobdolon ssp. argentatum Was it ever thus? One hears of problems
(Garden Yellow Archangel) which, despite with Couch, Ground Elder, Enchanter's
Round-up and hand-weeding, I cannot Nightshade and the rest with all of one's
eradicate! friends, and there must be some extra
Having set this down, several questions dimension arising from constant distur-
arise: bance and open ground in a garden, rather
What accounts of other gardens exist? than persistence and succession to more
There is Salisbury's Living Garden, which closed habitats in the wider countryside.
I have always meant to read, but is now
20 Notes - Identification of Water-crowfoot populations

Identification of Water-crowfoot populations

RICHARD LANSDOWN, Ardeola Environmental Services, 45 The Bridle, Stroud, Gloucestershire,
Water-crowfoots (Ranunculus subgenus As part of the project, I reviewed available
Batrachium) have long been considered diffi- information on all the taxa which have been
cult to identifY and there has been much reported from the UK and Europe. It is clear
speculation about the degree to which hybrid- that different taxonomies are employed in
isation occurs in the wild. In conjunction with different countries and that the taxonomy most
a six-year study of the aquatic plants of the widely employed in the UK does not recognise
River Itchen in Hampshire, the opportunity any recent taxonomic revisions. The available
arose to investigate the identity of the water- information also suggests that if the features of
crowfoot populations in the river in some the parents are directly inherited by hybrid
detail. In 2005, with the help of Fred Rumsey offspring:
and Tim Pankhurst, and with funding from the 1) A hybrid between R. peltatus (Pond Water-
Environment Agency, I undertook a study to crowfoot) and R. trichophyllus (Thread-
use morphological and genetic methods to leaved Water-crowfoot) that lacked laminar
explain the identity of the populations in the leaves, would be indistinguishable from
River Itchen. A survey of rivers in the catch- R. aquatilis (Common Water-crowfoot).
ment of the River Eden in Westmorland for 2) A hybrid between R. fluitans and
Natural England (as English Nature) provided R. trichophyllus or R. aquatilis that lacked
an opportunity to include material from a laminar leaves, would be indistinguishable
separate catchment for comparative purposes. from R. penicillatus subsp. pseudofluitans
The results are presented in an unpublished var. pseudofluitans.
report to the Environment Agency (Lansdown 3) A hybrid between R. fluitans and
2007) (but see below for offer). R. trichophyllus or R. aquatilis with laminar
Based purely on morphological characters, leaves, would be indistinguishable from
populations in the River Itchen appeared all to R. penicillatus subsp. penicillatus.
belong to the same taxon, which is probably 4) The only character separating R. peltatus
Ranunculus penicillatus (Stream Water-crow- from R. penicillatus subspecies pseudoflui-
foot) subsp. pseudofluitans, and the majority tans var. vertumnus appears to be the
appeared to set no developed carpels. Popula- number of terminal segments on the capil-
tions in the catchment of the River Eden lary leaves. I can see no reason why this
appeared to belong to a number of taxa, should be considered any more important
including R. fluitans (River Water-crowfoot), than the relative lengths of capillary leaves
R. penicillatus ssp. penicillatus and to their corresponding intemodes, although
R. penicillatus ssp. pseudofluitans. Biometric the latter is the character separating
and genetic analysis lead to the conclusion that R. penicillatus subspecies pseudofluitans
whilst R. penicillatus ssp. pseudofluitans may var. vertumnus from var. pseudofluitans;
be the most appropriate name available for and which means that var. vertumnus is
Batrachian Ranunculus populations in the aligned to R. penicillatus, rather than
River Itchen, they in fact probably represent a R. peltatus.
complex of stable clones derived through All of this means that it is difficult to have
intra-specific hybridisation between confidence in any identification of water-
polyploids which now usually reproduce and crowfoots that is not supported by genetic
disperse by vegetative means. The same analysis. Even with such analysis it will be
analysis suggests that all material sampled impossible to be certain of the parentage of
from the catchment of the River Eden hybrid material until we can collect a baseline
involved inter-specific hybrids.
Notes - Identification of Water-crowfoot populations 21

of genetic information on un-hybridised have decided that only dried material should
populations. be accepted, as plants will grow in plastic
Following completing of the report I have bags, distorting identification features and
paid particular attention to populations of some reproductive characters fall off, often
water-crowfoots that I have encountered. In rendering material useless for future investi-
particular, I have tried either to name popula- gation. However, fresh material in particu-
tions to species or subspecies or recognise larly good condition may be accepted by
hybrids. In most cases, whilst it has been prior arrangement with Fred Rumsey.
possible to assign a name to a population 2. Submissions should involve a sufficient
based on the guidance currently available, number of specimens to represent variation
every population has shown some features that within populations - this will make it more
would normally belong to another taxon. My likely that a useful determination can be
conclusion has been that either all populations achieved.
involve some degree of hybridisation, or that 3. Each determination will be accompanied by
identification guidance is inadequate or a standard label, detailing:
inaccurate. The name to which I would assign the
I have recently agreed to act as referee for population.
the sub genus for the BSBI and this has obliged Relevant synonymy.
me to consider seriously the most useful way A written explanation of the reasons for
to record water-crowfoots. I have concluded assigning the material to a particular name.
that the best way forward is: A written description of any characters
To ensure that vouchers of all material deter- shown by the material that do not conform
mined are retained in an internationally recog- with accepted views of the taxon to which I
nised herbarium. have assigned it.
To ensure that (as far as is possible) the A copy of this label will be attached to the
determination should recognise the different sheet and a duplicate sent to the person
taxonomies followed in different countries. submitting material for determination. De-
To explain the reasons for assigning the tails of the protocol will be included as usual
material to a particular name and any differ- in the members' handbook.
ences between the material and the accepted Reference
views of the taxon to which it has been LANSDOWN, R.V. 2007. The identity of
assigned. Ranunculus subgenus Batrachium in the
My overall aim is to establish a collection River ltchen. Unpublished report to the
that includes material representing variation Environment Agency, Winchester.
that occurs in the subgenus in Britain and
Ireland, to ensure that the reason for assigning
material to a taxon is clear to future research- The BSBI feels that it would be of interest to
ers and that any reports based on such material our members, and of assistance to Richard in
can be interpreted by researchers throughout respect of any final work, if this report on
Europe. current work was made available to a wider
With the help of Fred Rumsey and Mark audience. With the agreement of the Environ-
Spencer, I have proposed adopting the follow- ment Agency a limited number of copies are
ing approach to refereeing material: available from him for £15 each to include
1. All material must involve dried specimens postage. This does not purport to be a defini-
suitable for lodging in a nationally recog- tive statement, but does reflect advances in
nised herbarium (either the BM or another thinking since the publications from Chris
named herbarium). If people wish to retain Cook and Sarah Webster of over 20 years ago.
examples, then these must be duplicates. I D.A. Pearman
22 Notes - Lotus angustissimus & L. subbiflorus in Sussex

Lotus angustissimus & L. subbijlorus in Sussex

FRANCES ABRAHAM, The Old School, Ebernoe, West Sussex, GU289LD
ALAN KNAPP, 7 Trinity Close, Pound Hill, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 3TN
(aknapp2000@btinternet. com)
While recording for the new 'Flora of Sussex' thus annuus (Annual Knawel), Spergula
several species thought extinct in the county arvensis (Corn Spurrey) and Spergularia
have been re-found, but few have been as rubra (Sand Spurrey). The species most
unexpected as the discoveries during summer closely associated with the Lotus plants were
2007 of Lotus angustissimus (Slender Bird's- Conyza canadensis (Canadian Fleabane),
foot-trefoil) for the first time in over 70 years Filago vulgaris, Holcus lanatus (Yorkshire-
and of Lotus subbiflorus (Hairy Bird's-foot- fog), Lolium perenne (Rye-grass) and Tripleu-
trefoil) for the first time ever in Sussex. rospermum inodorum (Scentless Mayweed).
In East Sussex L. angustissimus was first A few weeks later FA found a further colony
found in 1798 among rocks near Hastings of L. angustissimus on the margin of a sandy
(also the first British record), and it was subse- field about 400m from the first. In the past
quently recorded at one or two other coastal this field too has been used for pigs and
sites in the Hastings area. It was last reported various crops, but has been uncultivated for
in 1932 but, in his Flora of Sussex, Wolley- several years. Unlike the first field, it has been
Dod (1937) considered that 'in the absence of sown with Rye-grass and clover, but wide and
a specimen it is safer to regard it as extinct at sparsely vegetated margins support a flora
Hastings'. He also dismissed the only two similar to that of the first site, although less
records from West Sussex: at Pagham rich and lacking most of the rarities.
(,requires confirmation') and Worthing On 2nd September the Sussex Botanical
('probably a casual. .. very doubtful'). Recording Society had arranged a field
In June 2007 several plants of L. angustis- meeting to record a farm west ofRogate, very
simus were found by FAin a patch of about close to the Sussex/Hampshire border. The
lm x 0.5m in a sandy field near Fittleworth in farm is 'pick-your-own' and has a reputation
West Sussex (see Colour Section, Plate 2), for its asparagus crop. The soil is very sandy,
and a second patch was found when FA and and recording in the morning in the 'pick-
AGK revisited the same field a few weeks your-own' fields produced a range of interest-
later. The field has been much visited by ing species, including Amaranthus hybridus
botanists over the years because it adjoins a (Green Amaranth), Erodium moschatum
small area of sandy grassland with a rich flora, (Musk Stork's-bill), Festuca brevipila (Hard
which includes Filago vulgaris (Common Fescue) and Geranium pusillum (Small-flow-
Cudweed), F. minima (Small Cudweed), F. ered Crane's-bill). In the afternoon we moved
lutescens (Red-tipped Cudweed), and many on to record the margins of the asparagus
other species of interest. The field itself has at fields, and soon came across a small patch of
various times been used for keeping pigs and a very hairy Lotus species with rather golden
cultivated for maize and other cereals. yellow flowers. After some discussion, we
However, it has been fallow and apparently realised that it must be Lotus subbiflorus (see
unmanaged for several years, and has itself Colour Section, Plate 2) and, as we continued
acquired a rich flora, including the three around the field edge, more plants were found.
Filago species and Apera spica-venti (Loose While identifying the Lotus subbiflorus we
Silky-bent), as well as Amsinckia micrantha noticed that the feature in the key in Stace
(Common Fiddleneck) Ornithopus perpusillus (1997) describing the number of seeds in a pod
(Bird's-foot), Trifolium arvense (Hare's-foot did not apply. Stace states that the number of
Clover), T. campestre (Hop Trefoil), Scleran- seeds in a pod should be no more than 12.
Notes - Lotus angustissimus & L. subbiflorus in Sussex 23

While this was true in a few cases, we found However, the presence of the Mediterranean
that most pods had 14 seeds and a few had up species Scorpiurus muricatus and of large
to 16 seeds. numbers of Amaranthus hybridus in the same
As we walked further along the field edge, a field raises the possibility that the Lotus
plant with paler yellow flowers was noticed species could be introductions here. The
among the L. subbiflorus. On careful exami- owners of the farm told us that, before planting
nation this proved to be L. angustissimus (see the asparagus, they apply a mixture of chicken
Colour Section, Plate 2) In the end we found manure and composted garden waste from
that the colony of L. subbiflorus extended in Hampshire, so it is conceivable that the Lotus
patches for lOOm along the field edges and subbiflorus originated from Hampshire.
contained well over 100 plants. Among these The situation regarding the Fittleworth
we found two large plants of L. angustissimus. L. angustissimus is rather different. This site has
All were growing in the edge of a rough grassy been visited by many botanists but the plants
strip a few metres wide around the edge of the here were in very small isolated patches, despite
field, with such species as Amaranthus hybrid- the fact that there are large areas of apparently
us, Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort), Chenopo- suitable habitat all around. It is also possible that
dium album (Fat-hen), Cirsium arvense the plants only germinate occasionally and that
(Creeping Thistle), Dactylis glomerata conditions this year were especially favourable.
(Cock's-foot), Festuca brevipila, Polygonum We will certainly re-visit both sites in the next
aviculare (Knotweed), Senecio vulgaris few years in order to see what happens to the
(Groundsel), Stellaria graminea (Lesser populations of both species. We would be very
Stitchwort) and Tripleurospermum inodorum. interested to hear from BSBI members whether
Searches of adjacent fields with asparagus this has been an especially good year for either
crops failed to reveal any more colonies of species elsewhere in the country where they are
either Lotus species, but this field had a further well known.
surprise in store. During a subsequent visit Acknowledgements
three plants of Scorpiurus muricatus We would like to thank Dawn Nelson for
(Caterpillar-plant), another new species for arranging and leading the field meeting which
West Sussex, were found growing in the sandy led to the discovery of Lotus subbiflorus and
edge of the field. obtaining the information on the treatment of
An obvious question is why these species the fields, Kathryn Knapp for noticing the
have not been discovered in these areas of Scorpiurus muricatus and Mike Shaw for his
Sussex before. In the case of the L. subbi- photograph of Lotus subbiflorus. We also
florus site the number of plants present makes thank the landowners of both sites.
it unlikely that they would have been References
overlooked, but, as far as we can tell, this STACE, C.A. 1997. New flora of the British
particular area has not been well recorded in Isles. 2 nd ed. Cambridge University Press,
the recent past. The plants may therefore Cambridge.
represent a native population which has been WOLLEY-DoD, A.H. 1937. Flora of Sussex.
present but un-noticed for many years. Saville, Hastings.

Viviparous Trifolium repens

EDWARD PRATT, 7 Bay Close, Swanage, Dorset, BH191RE

Jonathan Crewe (BSBI News 106: 48) referred was the discovery there, by Janet O'Connor,
to the Dorset Flora Group visit to Down Farm, of a viviparous specimen of Trifolium repens
near Sixpenny Handley, on 28 th July. One (White Clover) (see Colour Section, Plate 1).
result of two months of exceptional rainfall
24 Notes - Nipping ID in the bud

Nipping ID in the bud

JOHN POLAND, 91 Ethelburt Avenue, Southampton, Hants., S016 3DF:
There are several identification guides to Bud scales: number and arrangement
winter twigs of deciduous trees and shrubs The fragile embryonic growth of young shoots
(e.g. Makins, 1936; May & Panter, 2000) requires protection against the elements and a
which place much emphasis on bud characters. variety of processes have evolved to achieve
However, buds are useful aids to identification this. The buds of most trees (and many
at all times of year. Even during late spring shrubs) of temperate climes (i.e. those with
when buds are bursting into 'leaf, a few contrasting seasons) are adequately protected
dormant or moribund buds can usually be by a covering of scales. Such buds generally
found - one of the few instances when dead have five or more visible scales but below are
twigs may be more helpful than living ones! a few examples of the lower denominations:
A bud contains the embryonic shoot (twig) I-bud scale - all Salix (willows)<D
and a predetermined number of leaves and/or 2-bud scales - Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry)@,
flower buds (often collectively referred to as a Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea-buckthorn)
unit). It does not contain just a single leaf or 3-bud scales - Tilia (limes)®
flower, as the term seems to imply. Of course, 4-bud scales - Fraxinus excelsior (Ash)®
exceptions exist and many species have
separate flower (fruit) buds which can be
recognised by their larger size or different
shape, such as Rhododendron (rhododen-
drons), Ulmus (elms) and Myrica gale (Bog
Myrtle). The term 'leafbud' really refers to its
position; i.e. normally occurring in the leaf
axils (a lateral bud) or at the tip of the stems (a
terminal bud). Consequently, their distribu- @ ® ®
tion on the twig is identical to that of the Bud scales themselves also display useful
leaves - alternate, opposite, or whorled. characters. A reliable way of separating
The various bud types found in woody plants Ostrya carpinifolia (Hop-hornbeam)~ from
are listed below. Please note that they are not the remarkably similar Carpinus betulus
mutually exclusive and a single species may (Hornbeam)@ is by examination of the bud
posses a combination. scales. They are striate (i.e. with fine longitu-
Terminal vs. pseudoterminal buds dinallines) in Ostrya but smooth in Carpinus.
A few woody species have a true terminal bud Similarly, Abies nordmanniana (Caucasian
at the twig apex, giving rise to a monopodial Fir) is the only Abies with ridged scales.
(straight) shoot. Aesculus hippocastanum Unsurprisingly, as bud scales are really only
(Horse-chestnut) always has a single large modified (reduced) leaves, bud scales are
terminal bud. In contrast, A. carnea (Red opposite in opposite-leaved species.
Horse-chestnut) often has paired buds giving
rise to a sympodial (forked) shoot. The relative
rarity of true terminal buds makes it easy to list
the commonly encountered deciduous genera in
which they are found (although, as demon-
strated by the Aesculus example, they may not
be uniform throughout the genus):
Aesculus, Fagus, Fraxinus, Populus, Sorbus. @ @
Notes Nipping ID in the bud 25

Naked buds similar species. Indeed, the best method of

Buds that lack scales are separating Sorbus domestica (Service-tree)
described as naked. Pterocarya and S. aucuparia (Rowan) when the fruits are
fraxinifolia (Caucasian Wing- absent is that the bud scales are densely
nut) ® Viburnum lantana (Way- woolly-hairy in S. domestica but glabrous,
faring-tree) and Frangula alnus apart from marginal hairs (cilia), in
(Alder Buckthorn) are three S. aucuparia.
species whose scaleless buds are Clustered buds
protected by a dense covering of In most woody plants buds are usually
hairs. In contrast, Hebe (hedge positioned singly and well-spaced along the
veronicas) have the tough outer twig. However, they may be grouped together
leaves protecting the inner ones, (clustered) as in Quercus (oaks), many Prunus
giving rise to the distinct sinus (cherries) and Ribes rubrum (Red Currant).
present in those species that have
a distinct petiole in this complex Stalked bnds
group. Surprisingly (for the ® Stalked buds are characteristic of only a few
family Rosaceae), Cotoneaster genera such as Alnus
spp. do not form bud scales. Furthermore, no (Alders)®. Several Alnus
herbaceous plant forms true bud scales. species have remarkably
dissimilar leaves (reminiscent
Hidden (infrapetiolar) buds of other families) but the
Rhus (sumachs), Philadelphus (mock-orang- stalked buds are diagnostic of
es) and Platanus (planes)® have their buds almost the genus. Those
protected within the swollen base of the leaf botanising around towns and
petioles and thus are only visible after leaffall. parks may be familiar with
Rhus have naked hairy buds but the buds of Parrotia persica (Persian ®
Philadelphus and Platanus are protected by Ironwood). This species also
scales and young stipules respectively. has stalked buds, as do other members of the
witch hazel (Hamamelidaceae) family.
Superimposed or superposed (serial) buds
Most species have one bud in each leaf axil but,
in some species, two or three
(rarely more) buds occur. One
Resinous buds such example is Pterocarya
Presence of a resin (often sticky) is another fraxinifolia®Y which has
form of protection and is often particularly superimposed buds, i.e. a pair
useful in the identification of similar conifers. of buds, with one above the
For example, Abies grandis (Giant Fir) has other. Typically, only the
resinous buds, unlike those of Abies alba upper bud ofthe pair develops
(European Silver-fir); similarly, Pin us nigra into a shoot. This character is
(Black/Corsican Pine) has resinous buds (with also shared in many species of
adpressed scales) which contrast with the non- the closely related Juglans ®l
resinous buds (and reflexed scales) of (Walnuts). Similar arrange-
P. pinaster (Maritime Pine). ments of buds may be found in Ulex (Gorse),
Indumentum (hairs) on buds Laurus nobilis (Bay), Aristolochia clematis
Although hairs have already been mentioned (Birthwort), Paulownia tomentosa (Foxglove-
as being used in defence of naked buds, the tree) and Colutea arborescens (Bladder-senna).
presence of hairs on bud scales themselves can
be helpful in differentiating otherwise very
26 Notes - Nipping ID in the bud I Margaret Baecker: a very experienced BSBI member

Collateral (parallel) buds Linaria vulgaris (Common Toadflax), or on

These are extra buds produced either side woody trunks in Tilia xeuropaea.
(laterally) of a main bud. Two frequently Those requiring further reading material
encountered examples are Prunus spinosa should consult the splendid accounts found in
(Blackthorn) and Acer saccharinum (Silver Lubbock, 1908. For stunning colour illustra-
Maple). tions see Schulz, 1999, which also contains
Colour of buds keys - in German - to the many taxa discussed.
The overall background colour of a bud, Many thanks to Rosalind Bucknall for provid-
although sometimes subjective, can also be ing some splendid line illustrations. Thanks
helpful. For example the sooty-black buds of also to Niki Simpson for her stunning digital
Fraxinus excelsior (Ash) contrast with the images (see Colour Section, Plate 3, and see
mocha-brown buds of the widely planted also Simpson 2007, and visit
F. angustifolia (Narrow-leaved Ash) (and for more examples of
other rare planted species). An unarmed her pioneering work on this exciting, innova-
(spineless) shrub with white buds should be tive form of artwork). Thanks also to Eric
immediately recognised as Ribes alpinum Clement for helpful comments and suggestions.
(Mountain Currant)!
References and further reading
Persistent bud scales LUBBOCK, 1. 1908. On buds and stipules.
As the bud develops, the scales may enlarge Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd.,
before dropping off, leaving scars; by count- London.
ing these scars we can determine the age of MAY, A. & PANTER, 1. 2000. A guide to the
twigs. However in some families, especially identification of deciduous broad-leaved
Caprifoliaceae (e.g. Symphoricarpos, trees and shrubs in winter. Field Studies
Lonicera, etc.), the bud scales persist on the Council, Preston Montford.
twig and provide a useful indication of the MAKlNS F.K. 1936. The identification oftrees
family. and shrubs. I.M.Dent & Sons, London.
Adventitious buds SCHULZ, B. 1999. Geholzbestimmung im
Botanists should also be aware of the possible Winter. Verlag Eugen Ulmer GmbH. & Co.,
development of leaf, root and epicormic buds. Stuttgart.
These are termed adventitious buds since they SrMPSON, N. 2007. Digital diversity: a new
develop unexpectedly (and usually unpredict- approach to botanical illustration. Niki
ably) at a place other than the conventional Simpson, Guildford.
stem node, such as on woody trunks in Tilia TRELEASE, W. 1931. Winterbotany(Jrded.).
xeuropaea (Lime), on leaves in Tolmiea Dover Publications. Inc., New York.
menziesii (Pick-a-back-plant), on roots as in

Margaret Baecker: still 'going strong' at l05!

MrCHAEL FOLEY , 87 Ribchester Road, Clayton-le-Dale, Blackburn, Lanes, BBl 9HT
Born in 1902 in the Meidling district of spicata, Viola rupestris and Carex
Vienna and twice (2002 & 2007) a recipient ericetorum. For the past three years she has
of the Queen's congratulatory telegram, been the Society'S President.
Margaret Baecker is the acknowledged As a young girl she often accompanied her
expert on the plants of the botanically-rich father on walks in the surrounding Viennese
Arnside/Silver-dale area. She has lived there countryside and during that period devel-
since 1970 and was Botanical Recorder for oped what was to become a life-long interest
the Arnside and District Natural History in nature. Margaret was educated at the
Society from 1972-1987 keeping a watchful Rahlgasse Gymnasium (high school) in
eye on such local rarities as Veronica Vienna and gained a doctorate in chemistry
Notes - Margaret Baecker: a very experienced BSBI member 27

at the University there. After graduating, died after enjoying only two years of
she worked in the local Department of leisure. Now left a widow, Margaret joined
Health where she met her future husband, the local Natural History Society and,
Rudolph, who was a medical man. They having been shown many of the local speci-
settled down in Vienna and started a family alities by other Society members, especially
but in 1938, after Hitler entered Austria, Lois Marland, began to compile her own
they suffered persecution since her husband detailed records of the local flora. Shortly
was Jewish. Now in danger of their lives after this, she was recruited to help with the
they decided to flee the country and were Flora of Cumbria project and regularly
grateful to find sanctuary in England where contributed records over a 25 year period.
they obtained employment as a domestic The latter led to additional activity and she
couple working for a Liverpool shipping would happily walk the length and breadth
family. However, at the outbreak of the of the area searching out interesting plants.
Second World War in 1939, all male aliens In 1977 she joined the BSBI submitting
were removed, firstly to the Isle of Man and further local records to the v.c. Recorder.
then to Australia, with the promise that their Margaret also often botanised abroad, and
families would be able to follow. Unfortu- it was only a very few years ago that her
nately, the latter proved to be too dangerous planned trip to Provence had to be cancelled
and Margaret, who for safety reasons had because of a fractured hip. However, recov-
also left the district, went first to live on a ery was swift and she was soon out again in
farm near Oswestry and later at several the local woods. Nowadays, apart from her
other places near Wrexham. It was whilst botany, she still takes a very active interest
there that she was approached by Professor in her garden and delights in showing
Thoday of the Department of Botany at the people round. It contains some unusual local
University of Bangor who was trying to specialities, most of them having seeded
replace his steward who had been called up naturally into it but some, she fears, might
for military service. Very pleased to take up have come in inadvertently attached to her
this appointment, Margaret and her small boots after visiting them in the wild; the
son moved to Bangor where she was in interesting, uninvited, but not
charge of the Department's equipment and unwelcome, Hieracium scotostictum is one
at the same time became highly practised in of these.
the skills and science of botany. Nowadays, perhaps a little less active and
Meanwhile, her husband's status as a lacking transport, with the help of others she
genuine refugee from Nazi aggression had still makes forays to check on local rarities
been confirmed and he was able to return and only last May searched the rich calcare-
from Australia (via the Panama Canal and ous grassland at nearby Silverdale suspect-
an Atlantic convoy to Liverpool). He first ing the presence of an orchid hybrid. She
worked at Wigan Infirmary as a resident has made many new local records of her
anaesthetist but, when offered an assistant- own, especially ferns and members of the
ship by a local GP in nearby Hindley, he difficult genus Cotoneaster and has been
accepted and this also provided the opportu- particularly assiduous in seeking out species
nity for the family to be re-united. of the latter which she found escaped or
In their leisure time, Margaret and her planted in the copses around Arnside. She
husband often visited the Arnside and has also studied Sorbus species, especially,
Silverdale area on the Lancashire/Cumbria the locally-rare Wild Service tree, Sorbus
border and were attracted by the pleasant torminalis and following survey work on the
countryside. Eventually they bought endemic, Sorbus lancastriensis, she
property there, to which they moved on her published a joint paper on the subject (Rich
husband's retirement, but unfortunately he & Baecker, Watsonia 16: 83-85 (1986». Her
28 Notes - Margaret Baecker / Increase in Artemisia campestris ssp. maritima

other rarities include the only Cumbrian Active and with a sharp sense of humour
record for Rosa micrantha and the second and a remarkable recall for details of plants
extant record for Limonium britannicum. she found long ago, she will gladly help
She still keeps meticulous details of all her anyone who shows a genuine interest. To
records and most generously makes them chat to her and hear her reminisce in her
available to others. Her enthusiasm for pleasant bungalow with its natural garden
conservation also extends to waste recycling and beautiful view over the Howgill Fells,
and for this she has featured recently in the and partake of a glass of her apple juice
local press and received council recognition. speciality, is a most instructive and enjoya-
ble way to round off a field trip to the area.

Increase in Artemisia campestris ssp. maritima at Crosby sand

dunes, Merseyside
PHILIP H. SMITH, 9 Hayward Court, Watchyard Lane, Formby, Liverpool, L37 3QP
Smith & Wilcox (2006) describe the discovery in flower at the time of the visit made them
of Artemisia campestris ssp. maritima (Dune more visible. Their basal stem diameters (0.6-
Wormwood) at Crosby sand dunes in April 0.8cm) are much smaller than that ofthe origi-
2004. Since then, the single plant has been nal plant (2.5cm) (Table 1), indicating that
regularly monitored. A visit to the site with they are probably younger. They may have
the Liverpool Wildflower Group on 6th arisen from seed blown downwind from the
September 2007 resulted in three new patches parent plant, which has flowered well since its
of Dune Wormwood being found just to the discovery and has grown in size from 200 x
east of the original clump. Two days later, all 170cm in 2005 (Smith & Wilcox 2006) to 300
the patches were measured, grid references x 240cm currently.
being taken using a hand-held GPS (see table). The plants are situated in a rather open
The three new patches (nos. 2 - 4) lie in a sward, dominated by Festuca spp. (fescues),
line extending east of the original plant over a with occasional Leymus arenarius (Lyme-
total distance of about 49m. The plants are grass) and herbs such as Trifolium spp.
much smaller than their putative parent (no. (clovers), Lotus corniculatus (Bird's-foot-tre-
1), ranging from 1.4 to 3.3m2 in area, foil) and Medicago lupulina (Black Medick).
compared with 5.7m2 for the latter. While the Although within 5m of a well-used footpath,
2004 plant is semi-erect with stems up to the site is fenced and suffers little direct public
72cm high, the new plants are more prostrate, pressure. However, part of the area was
reaching maximum heights of 30-36cm, and burned in a small grass-fire during the spring
therefore hard to see among the surrounding 2007 drought. Fortunately, this just missed
fixed-dune vegetation. The fact that they were the plants.

Data from the Dune Wormwood patches at Crosby sand dunes on 8th September 2007

Patch Dimensions Area (m2) Max. height Basal stem diameter Grid reference
no. (cm) (cm) (cm) (SJ)
1 240 x 300 5.7 72 2.5 3110398157

2 170 x 170 2.3 30 0.8 3113198169

3 210 x 200 3.3 36 0.6 3113498172

4 140 x 125 1.4 30 0.7 3115398180

Notes - Increase in Artemisia campestris ssp. maritima / Botany in Literature - 46 29

The Crosby A. c. maritima was described as mapped under this name in the BSBI Vascular
new to Britain by Smith & Wilcox (2006). Plant Atlas Update Project.
However, Twibell (2007) reports that the plant Acknowledgements
has been known for many years on dunes at I am grateful to Pat Lockwood for finding two
Crymlyn Burrows in South Wales, where it of the new plants.
occurs as a lax, prostrate form that is difficult References
to find among grass. This accords with the CLEMENT, EJ. 2006. Could Artemisia camp-
habit of the three young plants at Crosby. estris ssp. maritima be native? BSBI News
Both Twibell (2007) and Clement (2006) 103: 4.
argue that this sub-species could be native in SMITH, P.R. & WILCOX, M.P. 2006. Artemi-
Britain, having been overlooked or recorded sia campestris ssp. maritima, new to Britain,
as 'alien'. The latter author suggests the on the Sefton Coast, Merseyside. BSBI News
English name' Sand-dune Wormwood'. In the 103: 3.
event, 'Dune Wormwood' seems to have been TWIBELL, ID. 2007. On the status of Artem-
adopted by the BSBI, the Crosby site being isia campestris ssp. maritima as a native.
BSBI News 104: 21-23.

Botany in Literature - 46
Ruskin and the colour of flowers - naIve botany - the renaissance of plant
MARGOT 1. SOUCHIER, 26a Dryden Avenue, London, W71ES
John Ruskin (b. 1819 London - d. 1900 Brant- mous; she will only give you a single pure
wood), writer and poet, whom I introduced in touch, just where the petal turns into light;
BSBI News 100: 29-30, wrote, some would say but down in the bell all is subdued, and
self-indulgently, on every single topic - natural under the petal all is subdued, even in the
history, botany, geology, mythology, and showiest flower. What you thought was
public affairs - as well as on matters with which bright blue is, when you look close, only
he was more directly concerned. However, he dusty grey, or green, or purple, or every
took a great deal of trouble to learn about colour in the world at once, only a single
subjects such as geology, ornithology and gleam or streak of pure colour in the centre
botany, and while there is an emotional appeal of it. '1, 2, 3, 4
in his writing, which in this age of molecular Notes
systematics and electronic technology would 1. In an extract from his The Stones of Venice
appear to be outmoded, nevertheless, amidst his (Vol. Ill, ch. II, § 10) ( in Ruskin, 1982, p.
elaborate descriptions of nature, many of his 142) Ruskin states 'The whole function of
passages demonstrate accurate perceptions and the artist in the world is to be a seeing and
a marvellous sense of analogy under the feeling creature' so much so that in his
impulse of what Wordsworth called 'a passion Praeterita (II, §200) (in Ruskin, 1982, p.
and an appetite' (Clarke in Ruskin, 1982). The 71) he declares 'Flowers, like everything
following passage, which is a further selection else that is lovely in the visible world, are
from Ruskin's The Elements ofDrawing (Letter only to be seen rightly with the eyes which
Ill, §175 in Ruskin, 1982, p. 180), demonstrate God who made them gave us; and neither
his passion for the supremacy of colour in with microscopes or spectacles.'
botanical illustration: Anti-scientific (and sometimes impractical)
Nature is just as economical of her fine though this may be in stance, one must
colours as I have told you to be of yours. allow for what Stuessey et al. (2003, p. 2)
You would think, by the way she paints, call 'naIve' morphology, the seemingly
that her colours cost her something enor- naIve botany of the artist, for it is often this
30 Notes - Botany in Literatnre - 46

very simple initial approach which can serve 4. The artist Giorgio Vasari (b. 1511 - d.
to draw one into more detailed study. 1574), also Italian, and famous for his The
2. While there is what may be termed the mor- Lives of the Artists, was, in discussing the
phology ofthe artist, such as that espoused by painter Masaccio (b. 1401 - d. 1428), a
Ruskin, there is also what Weber (in Stuessey further prodrome of Ruskin: 'And as far as
et al., 2003) calls the 'morphology of system- good style in painting is concerned, we are
atists' as opposed to the 'morphology of primarily indebted to Masaccio who, in de-
morphologists'. In the Gennan literature, the siring to acquire fame, realized that painting
morphology of systematists is equivalent to is nothing other than the art of imitating all
'phytography' or 'descriptive morphology'. the living things of Nature with their simple
An exponent of this is Weberling (1992), his colours and design just as Nature produced
work being extremely readable, and although them, so that anyone who fully follows Na-
thoroughly scientific in every respect, is, like ture should be considered a splendid arti-
the work of Ruskin, written, as Clarke, de- san.' (Vasari, 1991, p. 101).
scribing Ruskin's method, puts it, 'in long References
and well-contrived sentences, rather than in a ALBERTI, L.B. 1966. On Painting [Della Pittu-
series of monosyllables and grunts'. This ra]. (Rev. ed.). (Spenser, lR., transl.). Yale
combination of artistic sensibility and scien- University Press, New Haven and London.
tific precision form the foundation of the crie CLARKE, K. 1982. 'Introduction' in: Ruskin, l
de cceur for the renaissance in conventional Selected Writings (reprint). (Clarke, K., selec-
plant morphology. tion and annotation). Penguin Books, London.
3. Leon Battista Alberti (b. 1404 - d. 1472), RUSKIN, l 1982. Selected Writings (reprint).
the Florentine architect and author of Della (Clarke, K., Selection and annotation). Pen-
Pittura [On Painting], had this to say about guin Books, London.
colour and Nature: 'Through the mixing of STUESSEY, T.F., MAYER, V., & HVRANDL, E.
colours infinite other colours are born, but 2003. 'Preface' in: Stuessey, T.F., Mayer, V.
there are only four true colours - as there are & Hvrandl, E. (eds). 'Deep morphlogy: to-
four elements - from which more and more ward a renaissance of morphology' in: Plant
other kinds of colours may thus be created. Systematics. A.R.G.Gantner Verlag, K.G.,
Red is the colour of fire, blue of the air, Ruggell, Liechtenstein. [Regnum Vegetabile
green of the water, and ofthe earth grey and Volume 141].
ash. Other colours, such as jasper and por- V ASARl, G. 1991. The Lives ofthe Artists [Vita
phyry are mixtures of these. Therefore there de'piy eccellenti architetti, pittori et scultori
are four genera [gienere*] of colours, and italiani]. (Reissue, 1998). (Bondanella, lC.
these make their species [spetie*] according and Bondanella, P., transl.). Oxford Univer-
to the addition of dark or light, black or sity Press, Oxford.
white. They are thus almost innumerable. WEBER, A. 2003. 'What is morphology and
We see green fronds lose their greenness why is it time for its renaissance in plant
little by little until they finally become pale. systematics?' in: Stuessey, T.F., Mayer, V.,
Similarly, it is not unusual to see a whitish & Hvrandl, E. (eds.). ibid. pp. 3-32.
vapour in the air around the horizon which WEBERLING, F. 1992. Morphology ofFlowers
fades out little [as one looks towards the and Inflorescences. (Pankhurst, R.J., transl.)
zenith]. We see some roses which are quite Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
purple, others are like the cheeks of young [Originally published in German as Mor-
girls, others ivory. In the same way the earth phologie der Bliiten und der Bliitenstande by
[en colour], according to white and black, Prof. Dr. Focko Weberling, VIm 1981; and
makes its own species of colours.' (Alberti, Eugen Ulmer, 1981. (1 st English edition
1966, pp. 49-50). * used here in the biologi- 1989, Cambridge University Press)].
cal sense, as is 'all types and every sort of
colour' (ibid., p. 84), i.e. as genera et spetie.
Aliens - Lappula squarrosa in Surrey (v.c. 17) 31

Lappula squarrosa in Surrey (v.c. 17)
DENIS SKINNER & Rosy JONES, 120 Ruden Way, Epsom Downs, Surrey, KT17 3LP

Like they say about buses, you wait for ages, of its status in the county, and as we are both
and then three turn up together. So it has been botanical novices, I contacted the BSBI
for Lappula squarrosa (Bur Forget-me-not) in referee for beginners, Clare O'Reilly for
Surrey. The first record was in 1911, then four advice. She supplied me with more details
more until1948, and then no more. Until now. about the species and advised me that if I still
In August 2007, my partner and I were believed its identity, then I should send a
walking alongside the river Mole at Leather- pressed piece to the Alien Specialist, Eric
head in Surrey (TQ 162562), when she spotted Clement. By this time, the first specimen had
an 'unusual'-looking erect forget-me-not withered, and the second plant had died down,
growing in a disturbed patch of dry ground. It so we returned to Leatherhead to try to collect
only had just two (withered) flowers left on it another piece to send off. No luck; all trace of
and neither of us could decide why it did not the plant had vanished. However, three metres
look quite right. We were unable to identify away was another plant in full flower. We
it, despite the unusual fact that the spines that were delighted, and were able to obtain a small
covered the fruits were tipped with three piece to press. Eric swiftly confirmed our
hooks. Three days later in Beddington Park, identification, and so we had found three
Wallington (TQ295655), I found another plants in two locations after not having been
specimen of the same species, but in better recorded in Surrey for 59 years. Incidentally,
condition. As this plant was growing on a some of the seeds that had formed on the
heap of soil that was being used for ground second plant have been accepted by the
repairs, the plant was obviously going to be Millennium Seed Banle for their collection.
destroyed very soon. By finding it again so Our thanks to Clare O'Reilly, and Surrey's
soon I believed that it must be quite a common Recorder, Ann Sankey for their help, and to
plant so I had no concerns about taking it Eric Clement for his assistance and help in
home to replant and study further. compiling this piece.
Now we were able to decide that these just
might be Lappula squarrosa. We had no idea

Melampodium montanum in South Hants (v.c.11)

GEORGE HOUNSOME, 14 St John's Rise, Woking, Surrey, GU211PW
On 5th July Eric Clement and I visited the window. As he says, it is a yellow composite
shops. We went to the village post office in with opposite, elliptical, unlobed, denticulate
Alverstoke, which is next door to a ladies' leaves which is sold for hanging baskets. The
hairdresser (Harpers & Co.) sporting a splen- plant has occurred in pavement cracks near the
did untrimmed weed. After we had assured shop for a couple of years now (see photos
the shop owner that we were not up to no good inside back cover), but in the absence of
and that we were not crawling around on the hanging baskets its provenance is now unclear.
ground outside because her shop was falling It seems that the recent series of hot summers
down, and we were not eyeing up her custom- has enabled the plant to produce fertile seed,
ers, we were able to examine and photograph which has survived the winter in frost-free
the single plant of Melampodium montanum, Gosport. If so, the cool wetness of summer
as described by Eric in BSBI News 94: 30, 2007 will be a bit of a shock to the system!
growing at the foot of the wall under the shop Eric cites a variety of names that have been
32 Aliens - Lappula squarrosa in Surrey (v.c. 17) / Silene catholica still in v.c. 37

incorrectly applied to the plant by the horticul- I am grateful to Eric for demonstrating the
tural trade. Coincidentally, I happened to be plant and for suggesting improvements to this
in my local Homebase the day after and saw article, and to the shop lady for not calling the
trays of it for sale as Sanvitalia, one of the police.
names he lists. I have never seen this genus, References
but the RHS dictionary of gardening states that CLEMENT, E.J. 2003. 'Melampodium monta-
it has' ... phyllaries in 2 - 3 series, imbricate, num Benth.- new to Britain'. BSBI News 94:
dry or partly herbaceous'. As described in the 30.
same publication and shown in the photo- HUXLEY, A., GRIFFITHS, M. & LEVY, M.
graph, Melampodium has five wholly herba- 1999. The new Royal Horticultural Society
ceous phyllaries in one series (see phot inside dictionary of gardening. Macmillan Refer-
back cover). ence Ltd., London & Basingstoke.

Silene catholica (L.) Aiton f. still in v.c. 37

CHRISTOPHER WESTALL, 1 Rushford Avenue, Wombourne, Wolverhampton, Staffs., WV5 OHZ
In June 2002 Bill Thompson (WAT) was Foster (1994), where he found an entry which
recording for the Worcestershire flora project cited a specimen in BM. CBW sent a pressed
in the Bewdley area. He came across a scrap specimen to Roy Vickery at the Natural History
of vegetative material that he thought unusual. Museum, asking if indeed the plants were the
It was growing in sandstone which was same species. The reply was that they were,
shaded. He took a small piece and showed it unless a Silene specialist said otherwise.
to Christopher Westall (CBW) , who was Contact was made with EJC, who was
equally puzzled. CBW propagated the scrap delighted at the result, looked again at the
with no difficulty. It grew into a tall (to 1m.) material and agreed that it was Silene catholica.
Silene sp. with sticky stems and pedicels and As happens occasionally, there was a fault in
with white flowers, superficially like Silene the key in Flora Europaea vol. 1 (2nd ed.) that
nutans (Nottingham Catchfly) or Silene italica had hindered identification previously.
(Italian Catchfly), but quite clearly it was not CBW made contact with the owner of the
either of these, as Stace (1997) made clear. site who replied that the plant was well known
The following year CBW went to the site within the family but that they were unaware
and found the still vegetative scraps, but, more of its rarity. The Rev. John Adams, who
importantly, further down the bank in a sunny published the first record of the plant at its
position was a good stand of the plant in full Worcestershire site in 1929, was a friend of
flower and with last year's fruits interspersed. the family, but the provenance of the plant was
Photographs were taken. and is a mystery.
Eric Clement (EJC) had been most helpful CBW was given permission to publish this
with some of Worcestershire's puzzle plants, second record for Worcestershire so long as
so photographs (rather poor ones as it turned the exact position of the site was not revealed.
out) and pressed material from propagated The only other known British records for
stock were sent to him. He too was puzzled Silene catholica are from Suffolk in the 19th
and placed the problem to one side. century, and the help of Martin Sanford and
In 2005, as WAT was writing up species Roy Vickery in tracing these back through
accounts for the 'Flora of Worcestershire' he Hind's 'Flora' of 1889 to an original publica-
came across a reference to Silene catholica in tion in The Phytologist for 1857 is gratefully
v.c. 37 in the Proceedings of the Birmingham acknowledged.
Natural History Society for 1966 and, armed EJC tells us that this a rare plant indeed,
with a name, he looked it up in Clement & even in its native Italy. Better photographs
Aliens - Silene catholica in v.c. 37/ Cordyline australis in Middlesex and Surrey 33

were taken in 2006 in cult. (see photos inside CLEMENT, E.l & FOSTER, M.C. 1994. Alien
front cover). May I suggest 'Worcestershire plants of the British Isles. BSBI, London.
Catchfly' for the vernacular? HIND, REv. W.M. 1889. The Flora of Suffolk.
Acknowledgements Gurney and Jackson, London.
Largely in the text, but Eric Clement and Bill KIERNAN, lA. 1966. 'Notes on the Flora of
Thompson were particularly encouraging. Worcestershire', in: Proceedings of the Bir-
mingham Natural History Society.
References SIMPSON, F.W. 1982. Simpson's Flora ofSuf
ANON. 1929. 'New county and other records, folk. Suffolk Naturalists' Society, Ipswich.
1928' in: Report of the Botanical Exchange WOLSEY, G. 1857. 'Silene catholica' in: The
Club: 1929. Phytologist,2 nd Series, Vol. 2.

Cordyline australis in Middlesex (v.c. 21) and Surrey (v.c. 17)

ERIC l CLEMENT, 54 Anglesey Road, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hants., POl2 2EQ
GEORGE HOUNSOME, 14 St John's Rise, Woking, Surrey, GU21 7PW
On the 2}st May 2003 John Swindells led a phyllotaxis is a normal event in this species
London Natural History Society meeting at (recently transferred to the family Laxman-
the south end of the Isle of Dogs (v.c. 21). niaceae) and he is unaware of its occurrence
Growing in cracks at the edge of a pavement in any other genus. Does anyone know better?
near the river were a number of grass-like For those who like to know what happened
seedlings about 45cm tall that no-one recog- next, the plant still grows in its pot in front of
nised, and round the corner in a gravelly patch John's house in East London.
in the grounds of Christ's Church were a few On the 6th May 2005 another Cordyline
more, habitats similar to that mentioned by seedling was found, growing on the embank-
Paul Green in BSB1 News 105. The leaves ment on the south side of the Thames between
were fairly tough, 5-7mm wide, with a paler Putney and Hammersmith Bridges (v.c. 17).
midrib, distichous and imbricate at the base, There were no identification problems this
i.e.: in two rows on opposite sides of the time. It was still there a month or so later but
growth axis and overlapping. There was no life can be tough for immigrants and by
ligule. Puzzlement persisted, so one seedling September it had gone. Both these records
found its way into the vertical vasculum ofGH contribute additional vice-counties to the lists
to be grown on. After a few days of thought in the Vice-county census catalogue (Stace et
and visits to garden centres Cordyline austra- al.,2003). The two episodes demonstrate that
lis (Cabbage-palm) seemed the most likely Cordyline australis can produce fertile seed in
candidate, but the distichous habit of this London and it's not unlikely that one will
seedling just did not look the same as the spiral some day germinate and grow up out of
one of the plants for sale, so a return visit was harm's way in a quiet corner of our capital.
made to the Isle of Dogs to see if a parent was The Isle of Dogs site has not been checked
nearby - pity we did not think to do it on the since 2003, so that day may have already
first visit, really. Sure enough, not only was arrived!
there a large Cordyline in a nearby garden, but References
new growth from next to a lopped branch GREEN, P.R. 2007. 'Aster squamatus could be
looked distinctly distichous, just like a large on its way to you'. BSBINews 105: 31.
version of the seedling. In the course of time, STACE, C.A., ELLIS, R.G., KENT, D.H. & Mc-
in a pot in the garden, the seedling abandoned COSH, D.l (eds.) 2003. Vice-county census
its confusing growth habit and became a catalogue of the vascular plants of Great
typical plant with spiral leaves. Surely this Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel
contortionist behaviour is being overlooked Islands. BSBI, London.
elsewhere. EJC confirms that this change of
34 Aliens - Bupleurum -look-alikes, but convincingly different Apiaceae

Bupleurum -look-alikes, but convincingly different Apiaceae

MERVYN SOUTHAM, 1 Penton Road, T-wyford, Winchester, Hampshire, S021 IPG

Of the total British species of Bupleurum Hare's-ear) clings on along the south coast,
(hare's-ears) - five plus two casuals according although you need outstandingly good
to 'CTW' - only a couple are thought to be eyesight at the Sussex location.
truly native. Bupleurum baldense (Small

~p.l.wJ (\)v1'V b~~vvst... Jut'I"'O-

!?:tu.\_cJlj H~ell
Bupleurum baldense Beachy Head,
Sussex, July 1988 J Lt.!::! I J q r B>
It is much more upstanding in the Channel Of the approximately 18 annuals presently
Islands, I believe, but a trip there on the raised here, there is a little spontaneous germi-
Islander planes from Southampton does not nation outside, but more on the limestone
attract me. Bupleurum tenuissimum (Slender rockery and quite a lot in the greenhouse.
Hare's-ear), in contrast, is said to extend to Most become recognisable, and some become
northern England, and is quite prolific more attractive than' simple leaf, small umbel,
elsewhere, usually in maritime circumstances. yellow petalet' might suggest. Bupleurum
Bupleurum falcatum (Sickle-leaved Hare's- erubescens in particular pleases me, and I am
ear), which has a huge range from Normandy glad to see quite numerous seedlings of that
to Japan as a perennial, was known from the species in the greenhouse by mid-October. I
end of a London Underground line in Essex, came upon a small colony several years ago in
but has disappeared. Was it ever native? a quite obscure Turkish location, hence my
My notes record the raising of about 20 succession of plants.
species at home over the years. All Bupleu- The arrangement in most Floras commences
rum species have simple leaves and yellow with those annuals like Bupleurum rotundifo-
flowers; and the majority of species are lium (Thorow-wax) that have broad, more or
annuals, native to somewhat warmer climates. less clasping leaves. Several species are little-
However, there are quite a few perennials, known in the UK, but Bupleurum subovatum
ranging from herbaceous mountain residents (False Thorow-wax) (also known as B. lanci-
to downright shrubs, which readers may well folium) became more familiar when a few
have encountered in Spain etc., or, at less seeds could occasionally be found in the
expense, as an introduction in Worcestershire: packeted bird seed 'Swoop', which I usually
Bupleurum fruticosum (Shrubby Hare's-ear), picked over for cultivation purposes. Next
occasionally in gardens. come a startling array of narrow-leaved
annuals, which I hesitate to make hay of here;
Aliens - Bupleurum -look-alikes, but convincingly different Apiaceae 35

and then the herbaceous perelmials, leading on species can be seen here at Twyford, or at the
to the shrubs. BSBI exhibition, and a fair amount of infor-
Although the genus is so limited in Britain as mation has accumulated. Seeds are sown in
native, our species give a way in to the large the autunm, producing full-grown specimens
groups abroad. Most narrow-leaved species by late spring. What a contrast with Feruia,
are distinct and remain recognisable when which I should have sown shortly after the
cultivated together. There are 39 species in Falklands War! Innocence prevails. Listed
Europe, 43 in the former Soviet Union area, here are a few examples of species and where
and 46 in Turkey. There is still some work left they have come from:
to do, although specimens of numerous

~1'~'!.~'!~ ~b"",~o", L'h~

Bupleurum subovatum Casual in greenhouse, Gosport,
CCV$uw r..:.... r,'U!M.h'iit'l)~1U
Hants. 7 1991 C&SI,,,-<'I>. H<4-Ks 7·IQ'1I

Species Source Notes

B. rotundtfolium In gift 'Interflora' bunch to Marv Southam Widespread
B. subovatum Filling station flower border, Malaga Spain
B. baldense Grown in Bucks from Beachv Head seed UKnative
B. baldense Non-dwarf form, from Dubrovnik Upright: 30cm
B. tenuissimum Grown in Bucks from Hampshire coast seed UKnative
B. f!racile Akrotiri, under a bush Crete. 7 - 45cm
B. semicomJ)ositum Cabo de Gata Spain. 7cm, but branched
B. commutatum Collected by A.L.Grenfell NE Greece
B. trichovodum Mount Pamassos Greece Slender ravs
B. heldreichii Grown at Twvford, from Korkuteli seed Turkey. Ally of B. rotundifolium
B. croceum Grown at Twyford, from Gelendost seed Turkey. Ally of B. rotund!folium
B. lophocarpum Grown at Twyford, from Gaziantep seed Turkey. Edge of cultivation
B. schistosum Grown at Twyford, from Yusufeli seed Turkey. More or less different!
B.jlavum From Satculer, roadside colony Turkey. Slender, linear
B. subuniflorum Grown at Twyford, from Termessos Turkey. Curious shape.
36 Aliens - Bupleurum -look-alikes / An unusual collection of aliens in DUn Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

. ..

0) ?

Bupleurum semicompositum Rough coastal pasture, Mallia,

Crete 5.5.82

An unusual collection of aliens growing by a park bench at Dun

Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
PAUL R. GREEN, 46 Bewley Street, New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland (
I was walking along the coast at Dun other end of the bench was a clump of Setaria
Laoghaire, Co. Dublin with some friends at viridis (Green Bristle-grass) and behind the
the end of August 2007, when, approaching a bench a clump of Alopecurus myosuroides
park bench, I could see two Lycopersicon (Black-grass). It seemed strange that they
esculentum (Tomato) plants next to it. I was only grew by the bench, which was by a wall.
thinking the plants had grown from seeds It would suggest that the seed had been blown
discarded from a sandwich. On nearing the by the wind and lodged in the wall and at the
bench I could see an Allium cepa (Onion) base of it. This may seem an unusual collec-
growing from a joint in the wall, and a Beta tion of plants to have grown from seed
vulgaris ssp. vulgaris (Beetroot) added to my scattered for birds, which seems the likely
suspicion that they had all been discarded source, but I have seen vegetables come up
from a sandwich, but it seemed unlikely that from seed thrown out from an aviary at
somebody would go to the trouble of putting a Tramore in Co. Waterford. I took photos of
piece of beetroot and onion in a joint of a wall. them all, apart from the Black-grass, which
Anyway, as a friend pointed out later to me a was growing behind the bench, as I didn't
Beetroot would not grow from fragments, have the heart to ask the gentleman on the
especially if it had been pickled. It is the first bench reading his book if he would care to
time I have seen a Beetroot growing wild. move. He had given me enough funny looks
There was also a single Daucus carota ssp. as it was and my friends had left me pretend-
sativus (Carrot) growing by the wall. At the ing they were nothing to do with me.
Aliens - Senecio inaequidens in Aberdeen / An update on Dittrichia graveolens 37

Senecio inaequidens in Aberdeen

R.A. EADES, 381ngs Lane, North Ferriby, East Yorkshire, HUl4 3EL
On the 4th September 2007, whilst walking the internet that evening, several websites
down Market Street in Aberdeen from the described the invasive nature of this species and
railway station to the port, I noticed from the provided photographs to confmn identification.
corner of my eye a ragwort growing behind a On 11 th October 2007 I returned to the site
chain link fence on an area of railway land. briefly, finding numerous specimens of
Something did not seem quite right about the S. inaequidens, many still in flower, others in
plant, so I stopped to examine it more closely. fruit. Visual inspection through the chain link
Even the most perfunctory glance revealed it fence on 16th November revealed plants in
was a species of ragwort which I had never seen flower and fruit, but building work continuing.
before. Its leaves were thin, sessile, linear, This sighting seems to indicate a rapid north-
some toothed, and totally different from those erly spread throughout Britain from 'its
of Senecio squalidus (Oxford Ragwort). The current stronghold in east London' (Groome,
stem was branched, with numerous small 2006). The location at Aberdeen is very suita-
yellow flowers and composite seed heads. ble for this latest species of ragwort to spread
Growing close by was Senecio vulgaris rapidly throughout Scotland. The site is next
(Groundsel). Looking behind the fence, there to the east coast main line railway, alongside
was a yellow patch of flowers growing amongst one of the busiest roads in Scotland, and 200
old disused railway tracks. I obtained permis- metres away from the loading ramp for ferries
sion from a construction manager and took a to Shetland and Orkney. However, building
closer look. From memory, the plant clearly work on site may reduce its available habitat.
fitted the description of S. inaequidens Further spread of this invasive species seems
(Narrow-leaved Ragwort) given in recent BSB1 very possible.
News (Groome, 2006), and I provisionally Reference
identified it as this species. There were at least GROOME, Q. 2006 The invasion of Senecio
200 plants growing on the railway line, together inaequidens (Narrow-leaved Ragwort). BSB1
with Buddleja davidii (Butterfly-bush) and News 102: 48 (and photo inside front cover).
Verbascum thapsus (Great Mullein). Trawling

An update on Dittrichia graveolens (L.) Greuter

MARTIN RAND, 21 Pine Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Hants., S053 lLH
Following on from the article in BSB1 News [Apart from three sites in the previous
103, I can report that Dittrichia graveolens Auvergne flora] its presence is very recent, for
(Stinking Fleabane) has continued to thrive in instance in Haute-Loire where it appeared in
most of its known sites in Hampshire this year the Puy-en-Velay basin around 1999 (seeds
but has apparently shown no signs of spread- present in the material used to stabilise
ing. Nor have I received reports from other roadside embankments?); in these [new] areas,
parts of the country. We reported then that the it appears to be expanding rapidly along roads
nearest documented occurrence we were in the last few years.' It is mapped in 70
aware of on the continent was in southern SxSkm squares.
Germany. However the new Atlas de la Flore Reference
d'Auvergne (Antonetti et al., 2006) states that ANTONETTI, P.; BRUGEL, E.; KESSLER, R.F. et
it is ' .. .in rapid expansion in Auvergne along al. 2006. Atlas de la Flore d'Auvergne.
valleys and communications routes Conservatoire Botanique National du Massif
chippings on roadside verges, quarries, spoil Central.
heaps, waste ground, gravelly river margins.
38 Aliens - Crocus vernus x C. tommasinianus in Bradford

Crocus vernus x C. tommasinianus in Bradford

B.A. 'JESSE' TREGALE, 24 Ashbourne Drive, Bradford, BD2 4AQ
MICHAEL WILCOX, 32 Shawbridge Street, Clitheroe, BB7 lLZ

On 2nd March 2007 I noticed a couple of small I had found there in 2003. Here we found a
patches of crocuses on a small area of grassy small, all white' alba' crocus and a small white
waste ground off Prospect Road, Bradford crocus with a few purple stripes.
(SE170341 V.c. 63). These were probably Michael checked the anthers and pollen of all
originally planted, possibly by the occupants of the crocuses we had collected: the C. vernus
the houses opposite claiming this small area as and C. tommasinianus collected from Saitaire
garden, but appeared now to be naturalised and and also specimens of C. tommasinianus
spreading. The jizz of the plants pointed to collected on the 4th February 2007 from the
Crocus tommasinianus (Early Crocus), being wood by Primrose Lane, Gilstead. All had
small with thin petals and with a long thin normal full anthers with round fertile-looking
delicate lower tube, which often causes the pollen grains, with some variation in size; the
flowers to fall over, but the petal colour was a C. tommasinianus generally has smaller pollen
darker purple, which spread into the throat. grains but there is more variation in sizes in
This is apparently always white in C. vernus. All the dark purple putative hybrids
C. tommasinianus. The flowers were more from Prospect Road, the Saltaire specimens, the
cup-shaped and also they were late flowering white 'alba' and white with purple stripes
for C. tommasinianus which tends to flower crocuses from Fairbank Wood, all had mostly
about a month earlier. They in fact looked empty anthers with little or no pollen, and the
intermediate between C. vernus (Spring pollen found was very shrivelled and misshap-
Crocus) and C. tommasinianus. en. We have concluded from the morphologi-
The next day I took Michael Wilcox to the cal differences between the putative hybrids, C.
site, and he agreed they were possibly hybrids. vernus and C. tommasinianus and Michael's
We also found another putative hybrid on a anther and pollen analysis that our putative
verge of a nearby road, Spinkwell Close hybrids are Crocus vernus x C. tommasinianus.
(SE167340 V.c. 63) and then went on to See photos on back cover.
Saltaire, to the riverbank, where we found Crocus vernus x C. tommasinianus is very
another patch of these crocuses at (SE134383) likely common as a garden escape, with at least
(v.c. 64). Also at Saltaire were plants of six sites in Bradford, all except one being the
C. vernus and a couple of C. tommasinianus dark purple clone. This clone is very likely
well past their best. Michael collected some being sold as C. tommasinianus (or a cultivar of
specimens of the putative hybrids from either parent) and coming direct from gardens
Prospect Road and Saltaire riverbank as well as as throw outs. The white with purple stripes
the C. tommasinianus and C. vernus from and white C. vernus x C. tommasinianus f. alba
Saltaire. from Fairbank Wood might have arisen in-situ
The week after, we decided to look for other from thrown-out C. vernus and C. tommasini-
sites and found several more of the putative anus.
hybrid on the riverbank at Beckfoot Lane, The purple clone of C. vernus x C. tommasin-
Bingley (SE109381 V.c. 63) and the disused ianus is easy to identify, being smaller and
railway at Thackley (SE168384 V.c. 63). On all more delicate than C. vernus, with a narrower
these five sites the putative hybrid crocuses lower tube to the flower and liable to fall over,
looked identical- apparently all the same clone similar to C. tommasinianus. It differs from
and I also noticed this clone planted in a couple C. tommasinianus in flowering later, the begin-
of gardens. Finally we decided to go to ning of March onwards; darker purple flowers
Fairbank Wood in Baildon, (SE146382 V.c. 64) with the purple extending into the tube; and
to check out the Crocus tommasinianus f. alba more cup-shaped. Other colour variants of this
Colour Section

BSBI party at Great Shunner Fell (v.c. 65) showing Alopecurus borealis heads in foregound and inset.
Photo Linda Robinson © 2007 (see p. 6)

Juniper Gall, Middleton-in-Teesdale (v.c. 65). Viviparous Trifolium repens Dorset (v.c. 9).
Photo Falgunee Sarker © 2007 (see p. 7) Photo Edward Pratt © 2007 (see p. 23)

Lotus angustissimus at Fittleworth (v.c. 13).

Lotus subbiflorus at Rogate (v.c. 13). Photo Mike Shaw © 2007 (see p. 22)
Photo Alan Knapp © 2007 (see p. 22)


Lotus angustissimus near Rogate (v.c. 13). Asplenium septentrionale, Romney Marsh (v.c. 15).
Photo Alan Knapp © 2007 (see p. 23) Photo John Edgington © 2007 (see p. 16)
© 1Iik.i Sipycron £007
Fagus sylvatica (Common Beech) a-.

'" J.,}tt."f!E __
, ~ , -

Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut)

Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood)

Castanea sativa (Sweet Chestnut)

Winter twigs and buds. Photo Niki Simpson © 2007 (see p. 24) w
4 Colour Section

Tony Primavesi 'relaxing' in his library Trevor Evans at the launch of his Flora of
(see p. 2) Monmouthshire. Photo Mark Kitchen © 2007
(see p. 68)

Crassula tillaea, Edderton (v.c. 106). Photo Brian & Bm'bara Ballinger © 2007 (see p. 11)
Aliens - Crocus vernus x C. tommasinianus in Bradford I Limonium hyblaeum in Dorset and Sussex 39

hybrid are more difficult to distinguish and Michae1 also found this hybrid growing with
might require the pollen to be checked. C. vernus at Hesketh Road, Southport (v.c. 59).

More about Limonium hyblaeum in Dorset and Sussex

ERIC J. CLEMENT, 554 Anglesey Road, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hants., POl2 2EQ
Limonium hyblaeum Brullo (Rottingdean Sea- Rottingdean, E. Sussex). Erben remarks
lavender) is established in quantity in (p. 504) that the British plant was clearly an
S. England (E. Sussex, Dorset), yet it is a error with regard to both morphology and
highly-localised endemic of the rocky coast of chromosome number (my thanks to lan
southern Sicily (between Scoglitti and Capo Thirwell for translation from the German).
Passero) and the off-shore island of Favig- Soon afterwards, the Sussex plant was
nana. It was not separated out as a species renamed by Erben as L. hyblaeum.
from its close allies until 1980, when Salva- In Watsonia (l.c.) we find a good illustration
tore Brullo provided a type description (in of the habit and part of an inflorescence
Latin) in Botaniska Notiser 133(3): 282-283. branch: there are no dissections of the flower
He cites the earliest synonym as Statice bellid- and other minutiae. To fill this gap, Delf
ifolia Guss., Fl. Sic. Prodr. 1: 38 (1827), non Smith (DPJS) has once again provided us with
Gouan (1765), provides a photograph of the a stunning drawing prepared from a fresh
holotype (in NAP) and gives a short English piece (of the Dorset plant this time) kindly
precis well-worthy of quotation here: provided by Ted Pratt (see next page). A good
'Plant 6-25 cm, pulvinate. Leaves glauces- account by David Pearman ofthis site appears
cent, rugose, spathulate or oblong-spathu- in BSBI News 92:45 (2003) - there are now
late, 8-30(-45) x 4-16mm, I-veined or 1000's of plants on the cliffs of calcareous
obscurely 3-veined, rounded at apex. Non- lias, clearly spreading from just a single
flowering branches absent. Spikes 2-3(-4)- garden origin. A most remarkable colonisa-
flowered, 4-6 per cm. Inner bract 4-4.5 tion. I can confirm with my inexpert eye, that
mm. Calyx 5-5.5 mm.' the Dorset and Sussex plants appear to belong
Another description, this time by Prof. Paolo to the same species. It was, at one time,
Colombo (Palermo) in a paper on the morpho- apparently being widely sold in Britain (as
anatomical characters of Limonium in Sicily, Limonium sp.?) - see Watsonia 14(2): 228
gives in tabular format a listing of about 50 (1982). But, it is no new-comer, as Mary
characters, including 4n = 36 (cf below) - see Briggs, in the Sussex Plant Atlas Supplement
Flora Mediterranea 12: 389-412 (2002). He (1990, p. 13) remarks that the White Horse
does not repeat the word 'rugose'. Hotel have grown it since about 1950.
The description, key and line-drawing in Our plate by DPJS shows:
Stace's New Flora, ed. 2 (1997): 200 & 197 A Habit of plant
does not agree well- e.g. 'Leaves ... conspic- B Leaf
uously pinnately veined,' a character also b Details of leaf margin
given in Watsonia 13: 181-184 (1981), C Flower
wherein MJ. Ingrouille (MJI) named it as D Calyx at flowering time
L. companyonis, but MJI did add (on p. 183) d Calyx opened out flat
that 'Final confirmation ... must await .. .'. E Corolla opened out flat
Unluckily, a fine drawing of this species was F Gynoecium
not published by M. Erben until later in the G Calyx in fruit
same year, showing a very different, distinctly H Seed
mucronate leaf apex - see Mitt. Bot. Staats. Members lucky enough to be able to read the
Miinchen 17: 502. Also, onpp. 500-501, there CD that came with the BSBI New Atlas (2002)
is a very detailed description, plus a chromo- learn that the first 'wild' record for Britain was
some Calmt of 2n = 27 (cf 2n = 35 from 1979 - but earlier records must exist in
40 Aliens - Limonium hyblaeum in Dorset and Sussex

t--------l 2 ·5mm

1-----11 1mm

Limonium hyblaeum from Dorset. Del. D.P.J. Smith © 2003

See previous page for key to letters
Aliens - Limonium hyblaeum / Requests & Offers - Encouraging an awareness of plants 41

(private) herbaria. My own herbarium has one autumn' is also very hard to appreciate. John
labelled: Cooden Beach, Bexhill, 90ct. 1971. Poland's draft Vegetative Key proposes a far
Call. K.E. Bull, with comment (added better character: the leaves of L. hyblaeum are
13/2/81) 'Also at Seaford, E. Sussex. In both totally without stomata on the upperside ofthe
spots an obvious garden escape.' blade (Colombo, I.e., p. 403, agrees!), whereas
Returning to the matter ofI.D., Tony Spiers those of the accompanying L. procerum are
(pers. comm.) has looked closely at the Sussex clearly amphistomatic (under a x20 hand lens).
plants; he describes the leaves as: with a There is one more complication: Tony
central vein with two lateral veins all arising Spiers has found a third Limonium species on
within the petiole; also there are very faint the cliffs at Peacehaven (E. Sussex), first
pinnate veins visible only when held up to a noticed in August 2002. It is a much smaller
strong light. In addition, the plant has plant that appears to be close to L. minutum
'distinctive tight, concave rosettes' ofleaves- (L.) Fourr., a species featuring in the RHS
and he comments that the drawing in Stace Plant Finder 2007-2008. It still awaits a
(I.e.) does not show the typical leaf shape. professional determination.
Stace's key factor of 'leaves dying off before


Encouraging an awareness of plants
DR MARGARET E. BRADSHAW, 'Lady's Mantle', Hill Top, Eggleston, Barnard Castle, Durham,
The Victorian heyday of the naturalists lived Do the same for events organised by e.g.
on through the 20th century, boosted for your County Council, AONB, Natural
botanists by the production of 'C.T.W'. and England, local walking or ramblers groups
the Atlases of the British Flora. Is it not ironic and The Ramblers' Association, local groups
now, at a time when people are being urged to such as Towns Womens' Guilds, Womens'
get out into the countryside, that the knowl- Institutes, church groups, Young Fanners'
edge of plants and vegetation and the number Clubs, Scouts and Guides etc.
of field botanists is at its lowest ebb? The local natural history group (if there is
I have a simple message for members of the one) and Wildlife Trust may welcome the
BSBI: 'now is payback time'. You, who have assistance of a botanist.
had and do get enjoyment from our very Talk to your friends and family about plants
varied flora and almost certainly will have and take them on a Wild-flower Walk.
been encouraged by more knowledgeable You could join an event as a participant and
members. It is your turn to encourage others, talk, and create interest in the plants as you walk.
or the Society will die of old age. If you are more knowledgeable you could
All of us who know some plants, be they just offer to lead an event or you could start your
the local ones or more widespread, should own local group, as I did with the Upper
accept the responsibility of encouraging others Teesdale Botany Group. I booked a room, put
to enjoy and value our flora. Through the an advert. in the local paper and posted some
'natural food chain' almost all living organ- small posters. I hoped to get 30 people, and 52
isms, including us, are dependent on plants. arrived!
Here are some suggestions: 'Know your Quadrat' and the 'Training
Go with groups such as 'Walk for your Days' run by BSBI and bodies such as the
heart' and other activity groups, and talk about YNU will help but more can be done by
the trees and flowers along the route. individuals on their home ground.
But. .. what is a quadrat?
42 Requests & Offers - Botanist needed / Collecting seeds for the Millennium Seed Bank project

Botanist needed - do you specialise in Himalayan plants?

EDWARD PRATT, 7 Bay Close, Swan age, Dorset, BH191RE
A group of five botanical artists (at the last Kathmandu, tips, and pocket money. Starting
count) are trekking for 12 days in the at Pokhara, accommodation will be tea houses
Annapurna region of Nepal between 21"t with simple basic facilities. A support team of
March - 5th April 2008. They are so keen to porters and guides carry kit. For more infor-
have a botanist accompany them that they mation, full itinerary, price inclusions and
will subsidise the billet. All the botanist needs exclusions, kit list etc, contact Sally Pinhey on
to find is the international air flight to 01305 813307 or email Sally Pinhey
Kathmandu, overnight accommodation if (
required at the beginning and end of the trip in

Collecting seeds for the Millennium Seed Bank project: a request

for help
STEVE ALTON, UK Coordinator, Seed Conservation Department, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew,
Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6TN; 01444 894119;
KEVIN WALKER, BSBI Head of Research & Development, 97 Dragon Parade, Harrogate,
North Yorkshire HGl 5DG; 01423544902:
Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, located at duction altogether (e.g. Gagea bohemica).
Wakehurst Place in Sussex, has been in exist- Despite this, work continues to track down
ence since 1974 and holds the largest and most populations of those remaining species that
diverse collection of wild-origin seeds in the could potentially be banked. In addition, we
world. Nearly 37,000 samples of seed from have received funding from Natural England
over 20,000 species are stored at low tempera- to improve our coverage of some conservation
tures and can be kept alive under these condi- priority species which are represented from a
tions for decades or even centuries to come narrow geographical range or by only a very
( small sample of seeds.
Currently, the focus of collecting work is on To help us work towards a fuller and more
the arid and semi-arid regions of the world, genetically diverse coverage of the UK flora,
with 122 partner organisations in 53 countries we are hoping to call upon the knowledge of
collaborating to achieve a target of 10% of the BSBI members to help us track down suitable
world's flora conserved by the end of 2009. populations of our remaining target species
However, the project commenced with a (these taxa are listed below). What we would
major effort to collect and conserve the UK's require is for interested members to provide
own native flora in 1997. Since then, and with details of good-sized populations, with an
the assistance of both BSBI and Wildlife Trust indication of when would be the best time for
members, more than 90% of our native plants us to visit to collect seed. (Ideally populations
are now represented in the Seed Bank, includ- could be checked towards the end of the
ing the majority of our threatened species. season to ensure that seeds are present). Alter-
Some species will never be collected, either natively, members could identify a suitable
because to do so would compromise their population or populations of a species that
survival in the wild (e.g. we do not hold seed they are familiar with and then visit them once
of either Cypripedium calceolus or Epipogium or twice towards the end of the flowering
aphyllum), or because their seeds do not season in order to make a small seed collection
survive the banking process, or in a few cases (using guidelines and licenses provided by the
because they have given up on sexual repro- project). More generally, we would also
Requests & Offers - Collecting seeds for the Millennium Seed Bank project 43

welcome infonnation on the extent to which should contact Steve Alton at the address
the listed taxa set seed in different parts of the given above.
British Isles, or indeed any other observations Taxa not currently represented in the Millen-
that might assist with our sampling. Members nium Seed Bank (recent names are given in
interested in providing assistance, or who parentheses where they differ from Stace,
would like to receive the list of taxa for which C.A. 1997. New Flora of the British Isles,
further geographical sampling is required, second edition. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge) :
Alchemilla glomerulans Limonium dodartiforme
Alchemilla micans Limonium loganicum
Alchemilla wichurae Limonium paradoxum
Alopecurus borealis Limonium parvum
Atriplex longipes Limonium procerum
Callitriche hermaphroditica Limonium transwallianum
Callitriche platycarpa Listera cordata
Campanula rapunculus Littorella uniflora
Carex chordorrhiza Maianthemum bifolium
Carex montana Myosotis stolonifera
Carex recta Najas flexilis
Carex salina Orthilia secunda
Ceratophyllum demersum Persicaria vivipara
Ceratophyllum submersum Phyllodoce caerulea
Chenopodium murale Poa alpina
Cochlearia officinalis ssp. scotica Poa flexuosa
Crassula aquatica Potamogeton pusillus
Cyperus longus Potamogeton trichoides
Dactylorhiza majalis ssp. occidentalis var. ebu- Pulmonaria obscura
dens is (D. ebudensis) Ranunculus fluitans
Dactylorhiza majalis ssp. occidentalis var. ker- Ranunculus reptans
ryensis (p. occidentalis) Rosa obtusifolia
Dactylorhiza traunsteineri (D. traunstein- Salicornia fragilis
erioides) Salicornia nitens
Elytrigia atherica Salix aurita
Euphrasia arctica (both subspecies) Salix herbacea
Euphrasia confusa Senecio eboracensis
Euphrasia pseudokerneri Serapias parviflora
Euphrasia rotundifolia Sorbus domestica
Euphrasia scottica Sorbus pseudomeinichii*
Festuca lemanii Sparganium natans
Fumaria vaillantii Vaccinium microcarpum
Gagea lutea Valerianella eriocarpa
Glechoma hederacea * Newly described and therefore not included
Juncus capitatus in Stace (1997). See Robertson, A. &
Limonium britannicum Sydes, C. 2006. Watsonia 26: 9-14.
44 Requests & Offers - Sorbus xvagensis / Surrey Botanical Society

Sorhus xvagensis
DAVID PRICE, 43 Wonastow Road, Monmouth, NP25 5DG
The August 2007 issue of Watsonia formally to the attention of the Vice-county
contained a paper by Tim Rich and myself Recorders.
on introgression in Sorbus aria This poses two interesting questions. The
(Whitebeam). In it, we mentioned the first is the logistics of communicating field
surprisingly restricted distribution (Wye records to Recorders; and the second (my
Valley), Avon Gorge and Mendips) of more immediate concern) is whether
Sorbus xvagensis (the hybrid between Sorbus xvagensis is known, or occurs
S. aria and S. torminalis, known as the elsewhere. I would be grateful to hear from
Wye Valley Whitebeam), given the overlap anyone who has found the hybrid, and
in distribution of the parent species. We encourage those who haven't to look for it.
listed the characters distinguishing the References
hybrid and its parents, and included a map PRICE, D.T. & RICH, T.C.G. 2007. One-
showing the tetrads in which both parents way introgressive hybridisation between
have been recorded. Sorbus aria and S. torminalis (Rosaceae)
Since that paper went to press, I have in southern Britain. Watsonia 26: 419-
established, simply by searching the inter- 432.
net, that S. xvagensis also occurs at the THE BLEAN Website: http://www.theblean.
Blean, near Canterbury (v.c. 15) and Yoells co.uklcanterburysancientwoodlands.htm
Copse, Horndean (v.c. 11). These occur- VIGAY, J. Website: http://wildlife.vigay.coml
rences are well-known to local botanists yoellscopse/species.html
and presumably to a wider 'net-surfing
public, but had not seemingly come

Surrey Botanical Society

The Surrey Botanical Society (SBS) is a training element. We have an expanding
thriving group of just under 100 members programme of social activities outside the
who are united in their appreciation of growing season and there are, of course,
Surrey's astonishingly beautiful, interest- many ways in which you could help us
ing and diverse flora. We would like to record for our Rare Plant Register and our
invite members of the BSBI who live in or new Flora.
near Surrey, or who would like to improve If you would like to join us or would like to
their knowledge of the Surrey flora, to join know more about us and our activities, visit
our convivial group. our web site ( or
We hold regular field meetings through- contact our County Recorder, Ann Sankey,
out the County during the growing season (; our Chairman,
and these are both highly enjoyable and Paul Bartlett ( or our
very informative. In addition, there are Secretary, Tony Anderson,
local recording groups which meet (
frequently on a more informal basis. These We look forward to hearing from you.
too are very convivial and with a strong
Notices - Climate Change and Systematics / William Turner of Morpeth Negetative ID Quiz 45

Climate Change and Systematics
1-3 September 2008
Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
A conference on the interaction between 1. Climate Change and Speciation/ extinction
Climate Change and Systematics will be held 2. Climate Change and Biogeography
1-3 September 2008, in Trinity College 3. Climate Change: documenting and conserv-
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. ing biodiversity.
A flier giving some brief further details is To obtain detailed further information and
available from The register for the conference and if you wish to
conference will deal with this topic under offer a paper or poster then please see http://
three headings as follows: www.tcd.ieIBotany/Conference.php·

William Turner of Morpeth, Northumberland (1508-1568)

BRIAN HARLE, 26 Low Stobhill, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2SQ
I write to remind members that this year, 2008, .
is the 500th anniversary of the birth at Morpeth I believe a programme of events is also
of William Turner, sometimes referred to as being planned at Wells, Somerset, where he
the 'Father of English botany'. The actual was Dean for periods of his life. See the
year of his birth has never been validated but website: .
is generally accepted as being around 1508. For members who seek a good general
'Up here' in Morpeth, a programme of account of the life ofWilliam Turner, there is
lectures, open days, and lifelong learning a BSBI conference report, no. 20, by George
classes is being arranged to celebrate the T.L. Chapman, read 13 th September 1986,
anniversary, based at The William Turner which was printed in the Scottish Naturalist,
Garden, Carlisle Park, Morpeth. These events 1986: 11-27. A more detailed account of his
are being linked with other locations in the life is the book: William Turner: Tudor
area: provisionally Alnwick Gardens, naturalist, physician and divine, written by
Wallington Hall, Dilston and a number of Whitney R.D. Jones, and published by
nurseries, gardening and flower clubs. For Routledge, 1988.
further details and updates of the programme
see the website:

Vegetative ID Quiz
JOHN POLAND, 91 Ethelburt Avenue, Southampton, Hants., S016 3DF;
Thanks to everyone who took part in my quiz alphabetically). Susan Erskine and Margot
at the Annual Exhibition Meeting in London Godfrey also deserve a mention, narrowly
last November. Congratulations to Mark missing out from the top five entries.
Spencer for an impressive 14 out of 15 correct The specimens were: (1) Fagus sylvatica
identifications of what was an exceedingly (Beech), (2) Salix elaeagnos (Olive Willow),
difficult test. Other respectable high scores (3) Suaeda vera (Shrubby Sea-blite), (4)
came from Marc Cariton, Mark Kitchen, Linum usitatissimum (Flax), (5) Griselinia
Brian Laney and Ted Pratt (names arranged littoralis (New Zealand Broadleaf),
46 Notices - Vegetative ID Quiz / Gofynne seed list 2008 / Field meeting reports: 2006

(6) Crithmum maritimum (Rock Samphire), (with the white buds) was Ribes alpinum
(7) Matthiola incana (Hoary Stock), (8) (Mountain Currant). Only one person
Festuca longifolia (Blue Fescue), (9) Asarum managed to name the genus correctly (well
europaeum (Asarabacca), (10) Prunus avium done Brian!).
(Wild Cherry), (11) Chamaemelum nobile If anyone is interested to know what vegeta-
(Chamomile), (12) Phlomis fruticosa tive characters were diagnostic of the species,
(Jerusalem Sage), (13) Inula crithmoides then please write or drop me an email. Thanks
(Golden-samphire), (14) Lamium maculatum to Arthur Chater and Eric Clement for helping
(Spotted Dead-nettle), (15) Lychnis viscaria with the acquisition of specimens.
(Sticky Catchfly). The extra mystery twig

Gofynne seed list 2008

ANDREW SHAW, Gofynne, Llanynis, Builth Wells, Powys, LD2 3HN
A small quantity of seed from any of the following species is sent free upon receipt of a SAE.
Arabis scabra Potentilla rupestris
Armeria maritima ssp. elongata Ranunculus ophioglossifolius
Carex depauperata Ranunculus parviflorus
Cytisus scoparius ssp. maritimus Rorippa islandica
Damasonium alisma Rumex rupestris
Juncus capitatus Saxifraga cernua (bulbils)
Juncus pygmaeus Sonchus palustris
Limosella aquatica Sorbus leyana
Luronium natans Sorbus minima
Melittis melissophyllum Trifolium strictum
Myosurus minimus


Reports of field meetings are collated by Dr Valley, High Wycombe, Bucks., HP14 4PA (tel.:
Alan ShowIer, and copy for these should be sent 01494562082). Copy for day meetings should
to him direct, not to the editor of BSBI News. His generally be up to 500 words, and for weekend
address is: 12 Wedgwood Drive, Hughenden meetings, up to 1000 words.

Keltneyburn, Mid-Perthshire (v.c. 88), 18 th June
The group met at Weem Hotel, by Aberfeldy, chlorantha (Greater Butterfly-orchid) in bud, not
where we e~oyed a cup of coffee whilst Jim yet flowering due to the late season.
McIntosh gave an introduction to the day. At In addition to the orchids, the group was intro-
nearby Keltneybum, we were met by David duced by Jim McIntosh and Alistair Godfrey (the
Darling, the local SWT reserve representative. He local Vice-county Recorders) to the diverse flora of
had kindly offered to take small groups of us to see the Balchroich meadow, with the old curling pond,
the site's rich orchid flora, and we were delighted and part of the adjoining woodland above the gorge.
to see 6 species fully in flower, including the Red One ofthe highlights ofthe meadow was the lovely
Data Book Pseudorchis albida (Small White-or- aromatic Meum athamanticum (Spignel). Howev-
chid). Nearby there were several Platanthera er, the main objective of the day, to help relative
Field meeting reports: 2006 - Keltneyburn / Birks 0' Aberfeldy / 2007- Rothamsted 47

beginners with identification and the use of keys, many of the same woodland species we had found
was rather hampered by damp weather. at Keltneybum, but with the addition of a number
We lunched under the shelter of trees, before of other notable species, such as Asplenium viride
driving a few miles to the north, where there is a (Green Spleenwort), Convallaria majalis (Lily-of-
small area of limestone pavement on the flank of the-valley) - a rare native in Scotland, and Thalic-
Schiehallion. This is a very rare habitat in Scotland. trum minus (Lesser Meadow-rue). The surrounding
Before visiting the pavement, we looked at a species-rich grassland was dominated by Helian-
flushed, boggy area by the road, whose rich flora themum nummularium (Common Rock-rose).
included Eriophorum latifolium (Broad-leaved A very interesting day was rounded off nicely by
Cottongrass), Saxifraga aizoides (Yellow an enjoyable evening meal at the Weem Hotel for
Saxifrage) and Tofieldia pusilla (Scottish those that did not have to rush away. Many thanks
Asphodel). to Alistair Godfrey for co-leading, to Dot Dahl for
The limestone pavement itself proved very inter- assisitng with organisation, and to Weem Hotel for
esting, the grykes providing an ideal habitat for catering and car parking.

Birks 0' Aberfeldy, Mid-Perthshire (Voc. 88), 2nd July

Seventeen members attended this field meeting. pratense (Common Cow-wheat) for comparison
The emphasis was on leaming, and much time was purposes!
spent looking at keys and discussing the identifica- A lunch stop was made at the highest point ofthe
tion of plants amidst the wonderfully scenic but circular walk around Moness Burn, at the edge of a
rather damp gorge woodland. It is a relatively lovely field with patches of Trollius europaeus
undisturbed remnant of ancient woodland, and so (Globeflower). The return trip to the car park,
the flora was rich and fascinating. down the western side of the gorge, was rather less
Notable finds included Clinopodium vulgare interesting, except for a good population of
(Wild Basil), Lathraea squamaria (Toothwort), Bromopsis benekenii (Lesser Hairy-brome)
Stellaria nemorum (Wood Stitchwort) and growing not far from the edge of the path, beneath
Veronica montana (Wood Speedwell), all of which a beech tree.
are pretty local in the vice-county. Woodland For those who could spare the time, we finished
grasses were also well-represented, with Melica off a very pleasant day in the Aberfeldy Watermill
uniflora (Wood Melick) and Milium effusum cafe and bookshop. Many thanks to Ian Green for
(Wood Millet) just coming into flower. A particu- co-leading and to Dot Dahl for assisting with organ-
lar pre-lunch highlight was the famous isation. Also special thanks to Dot for her rendition
Melampyrum sylvatium (Small Cow-wheat) - a of Robert Burns' song Birks 0 'Aberfeldy at the
population growing very conveniently beside M very spot where the great bard was reputed to have
been inspired to write it!

Rothamsted, Hertfordshire (voco 20), AGM visit, 12th May
As part of the AGM visit to Rothamsted, members years, also hold a splendid array of otherwise very
were guided round two of the classic areas on this scarce arable weeds, notably Ranunculus arvensis
experimental site by members of Rothamsted staff: (Corn Buttercup), which was in fine form when we
Broadbalk experimental cultivated strips; and Park visited, starring the young arable with golden
Grass experimental grassland plots. Broadbalk is flowers. Just becoming evident were also large
probably the only remaining place where Galium numbers of flowering Scandix pecten-veneris
tricornutum (Corn Cleavers) remains in one of its (Shepherd' s-needle); while we were able to identify
historic localities in the country, although it was too a few plants of Papaver argemone (Prickly Poppy)
early in the year to see much of it. However, these and Legousia hybrida (Venus' Looking-glass).
experimental plots, or at least those that have not Park Grass is an old piece of "meadow" on fairly
had more than limited top-dressing over the last 150 uniform, mildly acidic soils derived from Clay-
48 Field meeting reports : 2007 - Rothamsted I Hertford Heath & Broxbourne Woods

with-Flints and peri-glacial deposits. It has been of Fritillaria meleagris (Fritillary), although these
subdivided into experimental plots for a long time, were past flowering. In rough grassland by the
each of which has had a different mix of recorded track to Broadbalk, there was also a fine and long-
chemical and physical treatments over this period. standing naturalised colony of Geranium phaeum
The results are highly illuminating botanically, and (Dusky Crane's-bill) that caught people's attention.
a potent reminder to field botanists that plant On the day, we all just about made it round the two
communities caunot always be predicted from soil locations in different groups before the heavens
types. At Park Grass we have species-poor acidic opened. However, we then enjoyed very decorous
grassland dominated by Anthoxanthum odoratum tea and refreshments in the grand surrounds of
(Sweet Vernal-grass) cheek-by-jowl with relatively Rothamsted Manor, courtesy of Rothamsted's
species-rich grassland including Briza media catering staff. Thanks must go to the various
(Quaking-grass) and Leucanthemum vulgare (Ox- members ofRothamsted's stafffor helping with the
eye Daisy), on effectively the same soil type. The field visits.
site is also well-known for its long-standing colony

Hertford Heath & Broxbourne Woods, Herts. (v.c. 20), 13 th May

The day was divided into two: the morning looking us with Carex pallescens (Pale Sedge); good
at part of Hertford Heath, about 3 miles south-east patches of Lysimachia nemorum (Yellow Pimper-
of Hertford, along with an adjoining ancient nel), compared with its cousin L. nummularia
woodland, Balls Wood; and the afternoon at (Creeping Jenny) nearby; and three species of
Broxbourne Wood NNR, further south. Only a Hypericum: H. hirsutum (Hairy St John's-wort), H.
relatively small group ofBSBI members eventually pulchrum (Slender St John's-wort) and H.
turned out, not helped by the terrible weather tetrapterum (Square-stalked St John's-wort). Some
forecast. However, members of the Hertfordshire young clumps of Dryopteris affinis (Golden-scaled
Flora Group and the local branch of the British Male-fern) could not be assigned to subspecies.
Naturalists' Association also joined us. Most extraordinary of all was the discovery of
Historically, Hertfordshire had thousands of acres several clumps of Briza maxima (Greater Quaking-
of heath, but this is now rare in the county. grass) growing on bare ground by a pond that had
Hertford Heath is typical of Hertfordshire's been opened up recently, well away from roads etc.
'heathland' in that it was only ever partly heather, Where this came from is a mystery, but it will be
the rest being dominated by mixed grasses and interesting to see if it persists. We also examined
scrub of various kinds. Large areas have long since some depauperate plants of a species of Calama-
turned to woodland, but heathy clearings retain grostis that some felt might be C. canescens (Purple
remnant flora, including plants found in very few Small-reed), but later examination proved to be
sites in the county. We had a good look, for C. epigejos (Wood Small-reed). As the former used
example, at plants of Salix repens (Creeping to occur here, in its only county locality, it would
Willow), here in its last county locality; and also at have been nice to re-find it!
Carex binervis (Green-ribbed Sedge), also scarce, Most of the party braved the increasingly hostile
of which we found five clumps. The grass Festuca weather to travel to Broxbourne Wood after lunch,
filiformis (Fine-leaved Sheep's-fescue) was identi- and we explored some of the clearings and rides. It
fiable under light oak scrub, and the sedges Carex was fonnerly wood-pasture, coniferised in the
ovalis (Oval Sedge), C. muricata (Prickly Sedge), 1960s, but then 'suffered' from a fire during the
C. nigra (Common Sedge) (but local with us) and drought of 1976. Regeneration of the scrub and
C. pilulifera (Pill Sedge) were also pointed out. open rough grassland was very good, and the wood
Young plants of Melampyrum pratense (Common became a nature reserve, important for insects and
Cow-wheat) were frequent. Balls Wood is oak- birds, as well as flora. Much Pedicularis sylvatica
hornbeam on moderately acidic to slightly calcare- (Lousewort) (a strongly declining species in Herts.)
ous clay, formerly coppice-with-standards, but was found, along with more Melampyrum pratense,
about half replanted in the 1960s. Despite the Carex pallescens etc. Tormentil plants were
increasing wet, we explored several rides and some evidently of two types, the commoner Potentilla
of the coppice, especially trying to find Paris erecta (Upright Tormentil), and also plants of what
quadrifolia (Herb Paris), known here for over 150 looked, on leaf form and stipule shape to be P.
years, without success. The ride flora did provide anglica (Trailing Tormentil), needing confirmation.
Field meeting reports: 20076 - Hertford Heath & Broxboume Woods I St Cyrus I W. Donegal 49

A pond by the central track held Ceratophyllum separate ways, although hopefully those that came
demersum (Rigid Homwort), but was also being will have recognised the potential of part of
colonised by Crassula helmsii (New Zealand Hertfordshire's ancient woodland complex.
Pigmyweed). Eventually we gave up and went our

St Cyrus, Kincardineshire (v.c. 91), 20 th May


The emphasis on this field meeting was on leaming galus danicus (Purple Milk-vetch). Other notables
and fun! Among the 25 participants there were included Vicia lathyroides (Spring Vetch) and
four vice-county recorders - Lynne Farrell, Barbara Brassica oleracea (Wild Cabbage).
Hogarth, Richard Pankhurst and Jim McIntosh (Ian After lunch, the most local Recorder, Barbara
Green, despite being advertised as a leader, unfortu- Hogarth, from neighbouring Angus (v.c 90), who
nately had to cancel, due to illness). The party was knew the site well, was commissioned to demon-
split into small groups, roughly by ability, and the strate Silene nutans (Nottingham Catchfly). Disap-
Recorders were pressed into service, each leading a pointingly, despite a fair bit of searching in places
sub-group. The idea was that leaders would not where it had been seen previously, none was found.
simply announce plant names, but that they would There was a good deal of discussion about why that
help group members work it out for themselves. might be, and it was suggested that it could be from
They used identification books and their collective nutrient enrichment from the farmland immediately
knowledge, with the Recorders on hand to guide above the cliffs. Certainly, among many of the
and confirm. 'nicer' species in the cliffs and grassland below
The rate of progress through the site was slow, them were many competitor species, such as
due to the proliferation of wild flowers and identifi- brambles, nettles and coarse grasses, which may be
cation queries. By lunchtime, the fastest group had thriving due to enrichment.
only gone about half a mile. The fact that a number On the return walk to the visitor centre, we got
of species were either still to flower, or were just fantastic views over the beach and a sun-drenched
coming into flower made the challenge even great- shimmering blue sea down to the east coast of
er. In the still-to-flower category we saw Astra- Scotland. We would like to thank everyone for
galus glycyphyllos (Wild Liquorice), Origanum participating so enthusiastically, and especially the
vulgare (Wild Marjoram), and Vicia sylvatica Recorders for helping. Thanks are also due to
(Wood Vetch); and in the second category we Alison Couch, the SNH warden of the St Cyrus
recorded Campanula glomerata (Clustered National Nature Reserve, for providing such a
Bellflower) and Geranium sanguineum (Bloody warm welcome, and Dot Dahl for taking bookings
Crane's-bill). and helping with the organisation.
Impressively injlore pleno over wide areas were PS. Having left the field meeting, several partic-
Primula veris (Cowslip), Hyacinthoides non- ipants took the opportunity to visit Boddin, just a
scripta (Bluebell), Silene dioica (Red Campion) few miles across the V.c. boundary in Angus, where
and Saxifraga granulata (Meadow Saxifrage). magnificent stands of Silene nutans were seen by
There were also several localised patches of Astra- the roadside and along sea cliffs, in full flower!

West Donegal (v.c. H35), 10th -14th June

The aim of this meeting, besides enjoying ourselves discussions. As it happened, we rarely returned
and recording along one of the most beautiful coast- early enough for anyone to have much energy left
lines of Ireland, was to develop a feel for what level by the time dinner was over. Nonetheless, the
of detail would be practical for BSBI recorders in the accommodation proved ideal for us, and we must
Irish orchid survey planned for the next few years. record our indebtedness to Angelique and her staff
The meeting was based at Corcreggan Mill, a for their tolerance, good humour, helpfulness, and
hostel 3km west of Dunfanaghy, which provides a efficiency, and also for the herbs that we pilfered
range of accommodation including self-catering from her organic garden.
facilities, enabling us to prepare evening meals for A core group of eight BSBI members was the
ourselves and, in theory, spend the evenings poring mainstay of the party from Tuesday to Friday, with
over specimens or engaging in erudite botanical an influx of 12 additional members and others on
50 Field meeting reports : 2007 - West Donegal

the Saturday. Several more had indicated a "hope" Orobanche alba (Thyme Broomrape), a more
to attend at some stage during the week, but had to strictly coastal plant. Unlike the previous day, the
back out for a variety of reasons. If any of them Gymnadenia conopsea was in flower, enabling us
(perish the thought!) had concocted last minute to examine the floral characters that separate the
excuses because they suspected it was going to be three subspecies. The keys we used did not help
a case of 'Wet Donegal', we hope they were much, despite careful measurement under a binocu-
drenched at home. Given a little more fortitude lar microscope, but it appeared most likely the
they could have joined us in perfect botanising population was ssp. conopsea, despite having
conditions: moderate temperatures, gentle winds, lateral tepals that were much wider than in the book
and rain confined to the nights. descriptions. Spikes of Anacamptis pyramidalis
Our first day was spent on and around Tramore (Pyramidal Orchid) were conspicuous as ever,
Dunes. In the Pinus nigra (Corsican Pine) planta- though it took some time to get our eye in for
tion at the north-east end was a sight none of us had Dactylorhiza viridis (Frog Orchid), which was
ever seen before, at least not to such an extreme represented by a range of colour forms from
degree: Listera ovata (Twayblade) thoroughly creamy-yellow through green to heavily red-tinted.
dominating the ground flora, indeed in places While we saw no obvious hybrids involving this
almost the only herbaceous species present. In species, the two other members of the genus
places, the inflorescences had been grazed off, but present, D. fuchsii (Common Spotted-orchid) and
elsewhere they comprised a miniature forest within D. purpurella (Northern Marsh-orchid) were
a forest. Also within the plantation was a small clearly hybridising.
group of Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved For a change of scene on Thursday, we ventured
Helleborine), as yet not quite in flower. Outside on inland, starting at Kildarragh Hill, where some
the machair, we encountered the first few examples heathy grassland with flushes provided us with a
of what were to become our chief debating points distinctly different flora, including the hybrid sedge
of the week: Gymnadenia (Fragrant Orchid), and Carex xfulva and a population, small in number but
Dactylorhiza (Marsh- and Spotted-orchids). As large and handsome in size, of Platanthera
lunch beckoned, the debate was deferred. Later, chlorantha (Greater Butterfly- orchid). We had
moving to the south-west end of the dunes, and hoped, in vain, to locate also some Gymnadenia, as
having cleared access with the locals or so we in this habitat it would have good chance of being
thought, we scoured a grassy slope where there was one of the other subspecies. From there we
little of special interest apart from Thalictrum progressed to an area of bog south of Gortahork, in
minus (Lesser Meadow-rue) at the bottom, Ligusti- the centre of which the delicate yellow flowers of
cum scoticum (Scots Lovage) on the crags, and Utricularia minor (Lesser Bladderwort) graced the
Cirsium dissectum (Meadow Thistle) on the upper pools and the liverwort Pleurozia purpurea added
heathy slopes. We then made for a flat damp area colour to the hummocks that separated them.
behind the main dunes. Here we were approached Around the margins there was evidence of failed
by a superficially angry, but soon placated and attempts to extract peat by extrusion machines, in
amicable landowner, who it seemed had more of a the form of remains of the' sausages' of peat dug up
bone to pick with other locals than with visiting from below now deliquescing gently into the bog -
botanists. In the knowledge that our presence now and supporting good numbers of Pinguicula
had his blessing, we settled down to being baffled lusitanica (Pale Butterwort) in the process.
by the past-their-prime Dactylorhiza incarnata Returning to the theme ofmachair and orchids on
(Early Marsh-orchid), concluding tentatively that Friday, we began with a morning on the dunes at
the majority were ssp. incarnata with some ssp. Glenree, south-west of Carrigart. In this area, both
coccinea. on the edge of the dunes and along the roadsides,
Wednesday took us to the Ards Forest Park, on a were naturalised patches of Geranium pratense
peninsula projecting into Sheephaven, with an intri- (Meadow Crane's-bill) in flower. On a damp area
cate mixture of dune, machair grassland, scrub, of sand with little competition, we found prostrate
bracken and woodland habitats. In the latter, we fruiting plants of Equisetum variegetum
admired two fine stands of Orobanche hederae (Ivy (Variegated Horsetail) for the only time in the
Broomrape), with its bold inflorescences varying week. The orchids, however, were a greater attrac-
from barely in bud to senescent. This is an tion for most of us. The Gymnadenia were not yet
occasional species with a mainly western distribu- fully open, but the Dactylorchids clearly included
tion, here at one of its most northerly stations. On specimens of viridis ,fuchsii, purpurella and incar-
the machair, we found scattered plants of nata, and maybe some hybrids. These were,
Field meeting reports : 2007 - West Donegal 51

however, nothing but a taster of what was to come cernua (Slender Club-rush) at Dunmore. At the
at our next stop, west of Carrigart, where the sheer glamorous end of the spectrum, the Dactylorhiza
numbers and diversity of the orchids was a feast for Juchsii (Common Spotted-orchid) at Dunmore were
the eyes, as well as a tax on the intellect. Epipactis vigorous, with rich pink flowers which Tom Curtis
palustris (Marsh Helleborine) was here in big described as tending towards var. hebridensis.
numbers, along with all the other dune species we Also at Dunmore, we found a single spike of a
had seen earlier. The Gymnadenia were flowering muddy pinkish orchid that foxed most of us at first
and closely resembled the G. conopsea of Ards, just until Tom identified it as DactylorhizaJuchsii x D.
across the estuary. Dactylorhiza purpurella and viridis.
D. Juchsii were both here, some of the latter being Although the meeting officially ended on Satur-
almost pure white. A few plants of D. incarnata day 14th, several participants stayed on to the
were recognisable as ssp. coccinea, but opinion was following day, which began with a visit to another
divided as to which subspecies (singular or plural) part ofthe Carrigart site, with the additional benefit
we should ascribe the remaining plants. It might of the orchid expertise of Brend an Sayers and Tom
have helped had they been in full flower rather than Curtis. A substantial number of very vigorous
almost over with the colours fading. Dactylorhiza Juchsii x D. purpurella hybrids were
From Carrigart, we moved on through a shower identified along the western margin of the site, with
towards Melmore Head on the Rosguill peninsular, varying combinations of parental characters. Our
finally parking in a rather slithery caravan site. debate about the D. incarnata subspecies was
Here we tried out one of Richard Pankhurst's hampered by the flowers being even further
recording cards on waterproof paper, anticipating advanced, but that didn't prevent divergent
that the rain would return. In fact it soon dried up, opinions emerging about the value of the reflexed
but the waterproof properties prevented it from lateral labellum lobes as a diagnostic character.
soaking up the moisture from the wet vegetation. The Gymnadenia spikes were now fully out,
Being a North of Scotland rather than an Irish card, leading to a further debate about the validity and
the list of "other species" we recorded on the rear of practicality of the recent trend towards classifying
the card told us as much about the difference in the the three taxa present in Ireland as separate species.
flora of this northern extremity of Ireland and the To round off the weekend, three members went
northern half of Scotland as about the rarity of our on to Lough Salt for a relatively relaxed session of
finds. It included three dune plants, Eryngium recording in the hills, without any contentious
maritimum (Sea Holly), Anacamptis pyramidalis, orchids to impede progress. The nearest we came
and Euphorbia portlandica (Portland Spurge) - and to excitement was seeing a lizard disappearing into
also Baldellia ranunculoides (Lesser Water-plan- a clump of heather.
tain), and Cirsium dissectum. As the lkm square I would particularly like to thank Ralph Sheppard
had dunes, beach, sea cliffs, wet heath, and a for leading the outings on the first three days, and
lochan, it was the most diverse that we recorded and pointing us in the direction of some excellent sites
produced the longest list of species. to visit subsequently. All members of the resident
For the final day, we went west to the area around group played a valuable part in making the meeting
Bunbeg, visiting dunes at Carrick and Dunmore a social as well as botanical success. Richard
followed by an unsuccessful search for Mertensia Pankhurst gave freely of his expert, and sometimes
maritima (Oysterplant) at a site where it been much needed, identification advice. Margaret
recorded some years ago on a boulder beach at the Marshall and Anne Pankhurst did sterling work
Bloody Foreland. A distinguishing feature of the with the recording cards. Megan Morris kept us in
day was the number of 'obscurities' we identified, good humour with antics involving her 'camper'
i.e. small unglamorous plants that are often and its three canine occupants, and Ann Annett
overlooked but not necessarily rare. The archetype brought us back to earth when we strayed into the
of this genre is probably Anagallis minima botanical stratosphere. And if anyone was at risk
(Chaffweed), which we found in a sheugh in the of being left out or left behind, Mary Willis ensured
company of another paid-up member, Radiola that it didn't happen. We have not had such long
lino ides (Allseed) at Altawinny Bay. Others to put meetings in Ireland in recent years, but if this one
in an appearance were Eleocharis quinqueflora was trend setter, then there will be some good ones
(Few-flowered Spike-rush) at Carrick and Isolepis in future.
52 Field meeting reports: 2007 - DunnyduffWood / Glynhir

DunnyduffWood, Banff (v.c. 94), 16th June

This was another Scottish field meeting whose Trientalis europaea (Chickweed Wintergreen) and
emphasis was on learning and fun! Despite the Pyrola minor (Common Wintergreen) (no relation),
rather cold, damp and drizzly weather I think we both impressively in flower.
managed that! However, the meeting did not get By lunchtime we had reached a lovely gorge
offto a good start for some. Two cars broke down broadleaf woodland with waterfalls, where we
en route and we were reduced to just thirteen partic- spent much of the rest of the day. Our first stop
ipants, including 3 Vice-county Recorders - Ian after lunch was to see Neottia nidus-avis (Bird's-
Green, Richard Pankhurst and Jim McIntosh. The nest Orchid), which had previously been spotted by
party was split into small groups, roughly by abili- Ian on a recOlIDoitring trip. After extensive search-
ty, and the recorders each led three or four ing we were able to increase his population count to
members. The plan was that group members would just four flowering spikes. It is quite rare in the area
work out the identification of plants for themselves, and generated much excitement. The final
using their collective knowledge, together with the highlight of the day was Goodyera repens
help of identification books. Of course, the record- (Creeping Lady's-tresses), seen on the return route
ers were on hand to encourage, guide and confirm. to the cars.
Importantly, practice and tuition were given on We met up for coffee and cakes in a cafe in the
using keys. nearby town of Keith - a welcome opportunity to
One of the day's highlights conveniently dry out and warm up, and to chat! Jim McIntosh
occurred right beside the car park - Paris quadrifo- finished off with a short talk, with tips on how
fia (Herb Paris). This is thought to be one of its participants could continue to improve their plant
more northerly outposts. It is a spring flowerer and identification skills. We would like to thank every-
it was beginning to become overgrown with taller one for participating so enthusiastically, and
plants, but its distinctive and rather lovely four especially to the Recorders for helping lead the day.
leaves and single central flower were still just Thanks are also due to Dot Dahl for taking the
visible. In the morning we botanised in remarkably bookings.
diverse plantation woodland. Highlights included

Glynhir, Llandybie, Carmarthenshire (v.c. 44), 23 rd - 30th June

BSBI Recording week
Saturday 23 rd June comprising only of leaves and a single scrappy
The week began as usual with the arrival of partici- flower: the plants really did look quite distinctive
pants at Glynhir in time for lunch, at which the until turning away and then trying to relocate them!
salad ingredients, including home grown coriander Chris Cheffings and Guy Moss were successful in
flowers, caused some discussion. Later in the week finding another small group of plants a short
the inclusion of coriander in sandwiches was appre- distance away. About ten plants were seen in all,
ciated or tolerated by most people except Graeme contrasting with the five recorded when the site had
Kay who could not stand being downwind of others last been visited in 1992. Castell Du also includes
eating it, let alone contemplate eating it himself! wet Mofinia and Juncus dominated areas where
Following lunch the eleven so-far assembled Carum verticillatum (Whorled Caraway) is present,
travelled the short distance to Castell Du Farm and old acid hedgebanks where, among other
(SN6IK), an SSSI on the north-facing slopes of species, Melampyrum pratense ssp. pratense var.
Mynydd Betws, with the intention of refinding hyans (Cow-wheat) is quite frequent (see front
Carex montana (Soft-leaved Sedge), not seen at the cover).
site since 1992. The farmer and his wife greeted us Before the evening meal we were joined by
with apologies for their dishevelled state as they Heather Co lis who had taken advantage of attend-
were in the middle of sheep-shearing. Arthur ing the Plantlife Cae Blaen Dyffryn butterfly orchid
Chater and John Poland found several plants of the survey near Lampeter led by Trevor Dines earlier in
target species where it had last been recorded in the day. After dinner the usual discussions and
dry, unimproved acid NVC U4c grassland, but study took place in the studio upstairs, in the
Field meeting reports: 2007 - Glynhir 53

absence of Chris and Graeme who had needed to Monday 25 th Juue

find time to rehearse their duet prior to Sunday The morning visit to Parc Hendre factory-develop-
evening's performance. ment site in Capel Hendre (SN51V & SN6IA) was
Sunday 24th June accompanied by heavy rain with cold wind, and the
After breakfast the whole party went to the RAF plants of Vicia lutea (Yellow-vetch) reported there
Pembrey Sands firing range at Tywyn Burrows, a few days earlier by Barry Stewart (first v.c.
(SN30S) where we were pleasantly surprised to record) were not found despite extensive searching.
have, not just no rain, but long smmy spells, despite However there were many hybrid orchids, Lathyrus
a very bad forecast and very dark clouds hanging nissolia (Grass Vetchling) and an abnormally
around us for most of the day. We drove to the end robust clump of Carex nigra (Common Sedge).
ofthe track across the range, which is the closest we The group returned to Glynhir to eat their packed
could take the cars to Tywyn Point. Exploration of lunches and change into dry clothes ready for the
this area of wide vegetation zones at the interface of afternoon visit to Hafod Welillol SSSI (SN60U),
the dunes and saltmarsh yielded expected species, located in a part of Carmarthenshire recently
including Carex distans (Distant Sedge), C. extensa annexed by Neath Port Talbot County Borough!
(Long-bracted Sedge), Sisyrinchium bermudiana The farmer is refreshingly enthusiastic. There were
(Blue-eyed Grass) and Vulpia fasciculata (Dune several fields of NVC MG5, dry(!), neutral grass-
Fescue), but also a new tetrad record for Chenopo- land which each had a few plants of Platanthera
dium rubrum (Red Goosefoot) and frequent Sagina chlorantha (Greater Butterfly-orchid) in full
maritima (Sea Pearlwort), previously overlooked flower, together with other orchids. Carum was
by the v.c. recorder and last noted at Tywyn frequent and Rhinanthus minor (Yellow Rattle)
Burrows before 1990. A measure of the high often abundant. Despite the driving rain the group
esteem in which the RAF holds members of the watched a Red Kite for some minutes as it returned,
BSBI was demonstrated by the fly-past of the Red soaked, to its nest. Chris Cheffmgs later encoun-
Arrows early in the afternoon! I did some beach- tered a Barn Owl. A single plant of Serratula
combing and carried home a substantial black tinctoria (Saw-wort) was found and two bedraggled
plastic lid for use as a birdbath in the garden! (It has dragonfly species were seen: Keeled Skimmer
been a success). As it was divided into segments, (Orthetrum caerulescens) and Golden-ringed
Arthur suggested that each should be labelled Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) attached to
appropriately with passerines, corvids etc! Andy grass stems, torpid in the cold. Despite the weather
Jones found a porpoise skull to add to his collection (two t-shirts, wool jumper, fleece, waterproof
of artefacts. After leaving Tywyn Burrows the jacket- and I was still cold- in June!) it had proved
party stopped briefly at Burry Port Harbour dunes to be a rewarding day. After the evening dinner the
(SN40K) to be shown Silene conica (Sand Catch- weather had improved and several people walked
fly). Other species found included Anacamptis down to the Glynhir Waterfall. Margo Godfrey and
pyramidalis (Pyramidal Orchid), a single plant of Jean Green had arrived during the day and were
Malva neglecta (Dwarf Mallow), Trifolium sorry to have missed the previous evening's music.
scabrum (Rough Clover) and a small patch of T. Tuesday 26th June
ornithopodioides (Bird's-foot Clover) which was No rain today, even some sun! During the morning
the fifth v.c. record and new for the hectad. the group visited Cruglas Farm located at the foot
We were joined for the evening by James and of the Garn Goch hill fort, near Bethlehem, Lland-
Mary Iliff, and after dinner the whole group retired eilo (SN62W & SN62X). A very rich mire with
to the sitting room to hear Chris (double bass) and several NVC communities, including MI 0 flushes,
Graeme's (bassoon) performance of the piece forms part ofthe holding and is notified as an SSSI.
composed especially for them by James, subse- Highlights include Pinguicula vulgaris (Common
quently christened the Glynhir Bagatelle. It Butterwort), Drosera rotundifolia (Round-leaved
received both its premier and second performances Sundew), Rhynchospora alba (White Beak-sedge),
and they also played a piece by Telemann. Mary Hypericum elodes (Bog St.John's-wort), Cirsium
then played two piano pieces also composed by dissectum (Meadow Thistle), and many more.
James. It was a special and unique occasion and we Management is carried out largely by seriously
felt very privileged. Graeme had brought along two classy Welsh Mountain ponies. We were able to eat
ceramic pots which he presented to James and Mary lunch at the edge of the bog before walking to the
and Richard presented Chris and Graeme with top of the hill fort. Then the group drove to a
bottles of bubbly! nearby farm, Llwynmendy Uchaf (SN62S), from
where access to shingle-shoals by the River Tywi
54 Field meeting reports: 2007 - Glynhir

was possible by crossing a few fields. The fields frequent in the roadside hedges on the return to
are very improved and Andy Jones was heard Amroth.
discussing the sloppiness of cow manure in relation Other groups were deployed to visit tetrads where
to their diet! A single plant of Myosoton aquaticum Carum verticillatum had not been previously
(Water Chickweed) was found by Rita Greenaway, recorded, targeting possible unimproved pastures
the first record of the species on the Tywi catch- shown on the aerial photographs and Phase 1 maps.
ment, with Veronica scutellata (Marsh Speedwell), Two groups were successful: Graeme, Jean, Martyn
Mimulus guttatus (Musk) and frequent Salix Stead and Rita found it in SN4l G west of
xsericans (Broad-leaved Osier) nearby. Pontantwn and also recorded Bromus
Dinner was curry, followed by chocolate pudding xpseudothominei (Lesser Soft-brome), the second
(a special request by Graeme - perhaps to compen- V.c. record. The other group to find Carum
sate for the ever-present taste of coriander?). After- comprised Andy, Priscilla Tolfree & Heather Colls
wards Richard had arranged a bat-recording where, at Pen-y-garn south of Ammanford
evening, led by Rob Colley with Rob Thomas and (SN60E), they also found Juncus xkern-reichgeltii
Steve Lucas. Those interested were provided with (a hybrid rush), a new record for the hectad. Chris
bat detectors and instruction before an hour or two and Guy left for home today after recording with
was spent around the Glynhir grounds. However Margot north of Nantgeredig (SN42X) where they
only Pipistrelles were detected (both Common and discovered several relatively common species new
Soprano) despite the richness of the habitats to the tetrad. We were joined for dinner by John
promising better. Killick who had arrived late in the afternoon, this
Wednesday 27th June being his 25 th attendance at the annual Carmarthen-
Today participants split into smaller groups to visit shire Recording Meeting, the only person from
a variety of habitats. Richard and I visited Arnroth outside the county to have come every year.
(SNlOT & SNIOY) with Arthur Chater and John Thursday 28 th June
Poland, collecting George Hutchinson from At breakfast, Arthur was explaining his daily back
Carmarthen railway station on the way. We were exercises to us - it involves hanging by his hands
also joined by Jacqueline Hartley for the morning. from something high and allowing the body to
Asplenium marinum (Sea Spleenwort) was locally relax. (He had been using a beam in one of the
frequent under frost-free fissures in the Coal outbuildings so I suppose it was wise to explain
Measures sea-cliffs and a few small plants of why he disappeared there early each morning!).
Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern) were also seen on Again participants split into smaller groups to
ledges. Eleven clumps of Carex punctata (Dotted visit different sites. Margo and Jean chose to go to
Sedge) were located in a prominent position at the an urban site and spent a rewarding day in the
foot of a shaley part of the cliff where the footpath vicinity of Parc Howard, Llanelli (SN50A) where
leaves the beach, growing in a more characteristic they found Anagallis tenella (Bog Pimpernel)
habitat for the species than the dune-slack popula- growing in a wet hollow in regularly mown park
tions where it is found elsewhere in Carmarthen- grassland. Elsewhere they recorded both Geranium
shire. It must surely have been mis-identified as C. pyrenaicum (Hedgerow Crane's-bill) and Euphor-
distans by botanists at this relatively well-botanised bia lathyris (Caper Spurge), new to this well-re-
site in the past. After monitoring the Spergularia corded hectad.
rupicola (Rock Sea-spurrey) a few hundred metres Arthur, John Poland, Richard and I visited the
further along the coast, the party returned to ascend Tywi with its shingle shoals, oxbow ponds and
the footpath which took us through Telpyn marshes at Dryslwyn Uchaf (SN5lU, SN52K &
farmyard, well adorned with 'keep-out' signs, SN52Q). We found a second plant of Myosoton
warning of a clay pigeon shooting range and four aquaticum by the river and, despite searching, it
noisy Alsatians (Richard told everyone they were appeared to be the only one. Other species included
'nice dogs' but as he is more of a cat person than a beds of Carex vesicaria (Bladder Sedge), occasional
dog lover I was somewhat dubious about his real Veronica catenata (Pink Water-speedwell) and
thoughts!). I was worried more by the clay pigeon Bidens tripartita (Trifid Bur-marigold), and a single
shooting than the dogs and I am ashamed to say that plant of Carex spicata (Spiked Sedge). But the
not even the fmding of a large population of Scler- highlight was the Otter which slowly worked its way
anthus annuus (Annual Knawel) could overcome upstream on the opposite river bank: when it
this fear (obviously I'll never be a real botanist!). appeared the 'real' botanists were studying a stunted
Coronopus squamatus (Swine-cress) was also Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomato) plant growing on
present and Rubia peregrina (Wild Madder) was the river shingle, but after a few minutes my mind
Field meeting reports: 2007 - Glynhir / Durness 55

wandered and I looked up to see the animal on the by George Hutchinson, whom we had collected
opposite side of the river searching and snuffling for from Whitland station on the way. The farm
any morsel it could find, completely oblivious of us! owners were very helpful and the weather was fine
We watched it, transfixed for some minutes, before apart from a short shower during the morning.
it disappeared out of sight. Needless to say, we failed to find any gentians, so
James and Mary Iliff joined us again for dinner it will remain a mystery, at least for the time being
this evening and before sorting out the day's botan- (the person who reported it picked a specimen and
ical problems, we adjourned to the sitting room in then threw it away after identifying it at home, not
the mansion, where James played a moving realising its significance!). However, the visit did
Scarlatti piece on the piano for us. enable us to see Hymenophyllum tunbrigense
Friday 29 th June (Tunbridge Filmy-fern) (see photo inside back
Margot and Jean retnrned to Llanelli to continue cover) which Richard and I first saw at a nearby
their recording from yesterday, accompanied for disused mine site earlier in the year when approach-
the morning by Martyn Stead, botanising for as ing from the other direction. But the most signifi-
long as possible before his departure for home. cant find of the day was the large populations of
Andy Jones also departed during the morning. Jolm Dryopteris aemula (Hay-scented Buckler-fern)
Killick, Priscilla and Heather visited two tetrads growing from the shady, humid banks of the steep
north of Llanwrda where they found Carum new to track down into the valley. Both ferns were new
SN73B and Carex muricata ssp. lamprocarpa records for the SN12 hectad.
(Small-fruited Prickly-sedge) new to SN73H. Saturday 30th June
The remainder ofthe group (Arthur, John Poland, Everyone packed up and started for home after
Graeme, Rita, Richard and me) visited Gilfach breakfast, the end of a rewarding and varied week.
Ddofn and Allt Clyn-gwyn in the Eastern Cleddau Perhaps the name should be expanded to 'The
valley on the Pembrokeshire border, following up a Glynhir Festival of Botany, Food, Music and Art'!
report to Arthur, of Gentianella campestris (Field It had been a mixed week weatherwise, somewhat
Gentian) which had reputedly been found by a wet at times and un seasonally cold - the journey
stndy-group from the University of the Third Age. home was in pouring rain!
We were joined there by Steve and Ann Coker and

Durness, West Sutherland (v.c. 108), 6th _ 8th July

Parts of West Sutherland are, perhaps like other surprisingly productive, yielding some 24 extra
holiday areas, frequently visited, but very patchily species and 'new'sites for others known to be
recorded. This meeting was designed to allow present. Primula scotica was found in quantity in
people to see some of the north coast specialities, well-grazed cliff grassland, keen eyes located
but also to make a start on recording some tetrads several stands of Coeloglossum viride (Frog
around Durness. It proved popular, with 18 partic- Orchid) associated with the delicate heads of Carex
ipants in all. The weather was fine on the first day, capillaris (Hair Sedge), and cushions of Silene
poor to appalling on the second and improving on acaulis (Moss Campion) were found on an outcrop
the third. near Faraid Head. New to the hectad (NC37) were
Our first port of call on 6th was limestone grass- Urtica urens (Small Nettle), an arable weed now
land at the far end of the BaInakeil Golf-course, to quite uncommon in the north-west, and, in a lochan,
familiarise ourselves with Primula scotica (Scottish Utricularia minor (Lesser Bladderwort), the only
Primrose), in its second flush of flowering, noting readily recognisable member of the genus. Three
also, in the rough, numerous spikes of Listera ovata stands of Carex diandra (Lesser Tussock-sedge)
(Common Twayblade). We then walked across were found on the margins of the same lochan. The
Balnakeil Beach to pay our respects to the well- species was seen in 1997, but those present did not
known populations of Carex maritima (Curved realise the significance of the record, and the
Sedge), in adjacent dune slacks at the southern end precise locality was not noted. It does not, there-
of the peninsula known as An Fharaid. The rest of fore, featnre in the Atlas. Despite several searches,
the day was spent exploring the peninsula (tetrad it has taken ten years to relocate it!
NC37V), adding to a master list made by a small The main aim on 7th was to search a dune area
group during a previous BSBI visit, recording for north-west of Keoldale (tetrad NC36T) for an old
the Atlas, on 30th June 1997. This exercise was record of Carex maritima and then to investigate
56 Field meeting reports: 2007 - Durness / East Norfolk & East Suffolk

the shores of Loch Borralie. We started off well stack bearing many flowering spikes of Epipactis
along the cliff tops, with a fair selection of ca1ci- atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine) and a few of
coles, but after a damp lunch, cold lashing rain Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Common Spotted-orchid).
drove us off. We did however find a good stand of Both were growing in blown sand over Lewisian
Juncus balticus (Baltic Rush) at a 'new' site. One gneiss. The latter species is far from common in
hardy pair, who undertook a circumnavigation of West Sutherland. The adjacent sea cliffs are
the loch, were rewarded for their efforts by finding clothed with almost vertical woodland containing
a washed-up pondweed which proved, on inspec- Corylus avellana (Hazel) and Populus tremula
tion, to be a close fit for the hybrid P. xcognatus (P. (Aspen), with a good range of tall herbs, a rare
praelongus x P. perfoliatus), at what is now its only occurrence in this exposed and well-grazed
known site in the British Isles. A disappointing day landscape. A few plants of Dryopteris expansa
was redeemed by an evening meal together at the (Northern Buckler-fern), found by three members
Bistro at Balnakeil, followed by a very useful ofthe group just inland of the beach later in the day,
identification session at the Loch Croispol constitute a new record for the hectad (NC46). The
Bookshop next door. second party made their way over a headland to a
On 8th , we tackled two well-known sites to the second beach, a little further to the north, where
east of Durness. First stop was the impressive they were rewarded with hanging mats of Dryas
Geodha Smoo, at the landward end of which the octopetala (Mountain Avens) and many more
Allt Smoo drops through the roof of a huge sea- spikes of Dactylorhiza fuchsii and Epipactis
cave (tetrad NC46D). The group split into two atrorubens, all, again, on blown sand over Lewisian
parties, tackling in friendly rivalry the west and east gneiss. They also found one plant of Leymus
sides of the Geodha. Although there was inevitable arenarius (Lyme-grass), new to the hectad, on a
overlap, the combined tally of 135 taxa was a good rocky slope, a not infrequent habitat in West
total from a small corner of the tetrad. There were Sutherland.
huge stands of Phyllitis scolopendrium (Hart's- Altogether, 187 taxa were recorded, a very good
tongue) in the cave and cliffs around its mouth; total from, again, a small corner of the tetrad. It
further out Asplenium marinum (Sea Spleenwort) was good to have in the party a specialist in Chara
was evidence of the influence of the sea. (Stonewort). The records made by Effy Everiss
After lunch, we moved east to Traigh Allt will be a valuable addition to our knowledge of the
Chailgeag, a sandy beach backed by dune grassland v.c. 108 botany. Special thanks are due to Jackie
and well-vegetated cliffs (tetrad NC46M). There Muscott and Ro Scott who fielded records from all
we again split into two parties, one concentrating on and sundry throughout the meeting, under often less
the part nearest to the road and the other further than ideal conditions.
afield. The first party were able to scale an isolated

East Norfolk & East Suffolk ( 25, 27) grass identification days,
14th (& 21St) July
This meeting attracted more members than tion being paid to their rhizomes. The half-mile
expected and was repeated on 21 sI July for those walk across the heath to an arable field provided
originally placed on a waiting list. Consequently much of interest, including Apera interrupta
17 participants on 14th and 7 a week later assembled (Dense Sill(y-bent), Trifolium suffocatum
on Wortham Ling, an area of sandy heathland (Suffocated Clover) and Hypochaeris glabra
beside the infant River Waveney, and a mile west (Smooth Cat's-ear), all thought to be new to the
of Diss, now managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Ling, as well as the dead remains of Aira praecox
Trust. The main purpose of the meeting was to (Early Hair-grass) andA. caryophyllea (Silver Hair-
study Agrostis, and all five species were seen by the grass). Lingering Vulpia ciliata ssp. ambigua
meeting's end. However, the proceedings opened (Bearded Fescue) was just identifiable on 14th ,
with an explanation of grass inflorescence struc- while Anisantha sterilis (Barren Brome) and
ture, using previously collected Avenafatua (Wild- A. diandra (Great Brome), regenerating from
oat) as illustration. Close to the cars Agrostis capil- earlier roadside mowing and growing together,
laris (Common Bent) and A. vinealis (Brown Bent) conveniently displayed their distinguishing
were conveniently growing side by side. They features.
were fully examined and contrasted, special atten-
Field meeting reports: 2007 - East Norfolk & East Suffolk I Gordon area & River Tweed 57

The margin of the field referred to earlier is now dominated by coarse grasses, of which
produced a quartet of arable weed grasses: Agrostis Deschampsia cespitosa (Tufted Hair-grass) is the
gigantea (Black Bent), with its stout rhizomes; most prominent. However, the small area we
Avena fatua; Alopecurus myosuroides (Black- visited was atypical and featured damp depressions
grass); and Elytrigia repens ssp. repens (Common containing Agrostis canina (Velvet Bent) and A.
Couch). The group then followed a long semi- stolonifera (Creeping Bent), with A. capillaris
circular route across the heath, stopping to examine abundant and widespread nearby. Evidence of
Phleum bertolonii (Smaller Cat's-tail) on the earlier occupation of the site by travellers was
roadside, Nardus stricta (Mat-grass) (rare in East provided by the unexpected discovery of flowering
Suffolk), Molinia caerulea ssp. caerulea (Purple Phalaris canariensis (Canary-grass). A special and
Moor-grass) and Calamagrostis epigejos (Wood successful effort was made to locate Genista tincto-
Small-reed), the last flowering sparingly and much ria ssp. tinctoria (Dyer's Greenweed), formerly
weakened by shade. Holcus lanatus (Y orkshire- quite common on south Norfolk roadsides, but now
fog) and H. mollis (Creeping Soft-grass) were much reduced by regular verge cutting. On 21 st
conveniently growing side-by-side for easy July only, the group paused by an arable field to see
comparison. It was also heartening to see several Scandix pecten-veneris (Shepherd's-needle) and
patches of Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell), a was rewarded by the unexpected discovery of
species in apparent decline in East Anglia. Bromus commutatus (Meadow Brome) and
Wortham Ling has two areas of basic soils, and Panicum miliaceum (Common Millet).
after lunch one of these was visited, where Thymus The meeting concluded with the leader's distribu-
pulegioides (Large Thyme) and Cirsium acaule tion of previously gathered Phleum pratense
(Dwarf Thistle) were admired, and Briza media (Timothy), Bromopsis ramosa (Hairy-brome) on
(Quaking-grass) and Helictotrichon pratense 21 st July only; Agrostis castellana (Highland Bent)
(Meadow Oat-grass) added to the grass list. A brief from Diss, and A. scabra (Rough Bent) originally
stop to admire Scleranthus annuus s.1. (Annual collected from Glasgow, but now cultivated in his
Knawel) and the dead remains of Trifolium glomer- garden. Altogether 45 grass species were discussed
atum (Clustered Clover) in previously known sites over the two days.
concluded our visit to the Ling. Finally the Society wishes to thank Mr Moray
The afternoon venue was Boyland Common in Rash of Beech Tree Farm, Wortham, for allowing
East Norfolk, about 3 miles north of Wortham. us to remove grasses from his field of broad beans,
There the soils are heavier, with significant clay and Mrs M. Brown of Old Boyland Hall for permis-
content. Formerly the area was cut for hay andlor sion to park cars on her land.
grazed, but in recent years has been neglected and

Gordon area & River Tweed, Berwickshire (v.c. 81), 14th _15 th July
A party of seven met at Gordon Community (Twayblade) and Platanthera bifolia (Lesser
Woodland on the 14th, where it was briefed on an Butterfly-orchid). We drove to Corsbie and strug-
experimental method of rare and scarce plant gled to the last remnants of Corsbie Bog. Here
recording developed by the leader, using the large Vaccinium oxycoccos (Cranberry) could not be re-
population of Genista anglica (petty Whin) for found and was considered probably extinct, but two
training. We then drove to Gordon Moss SSSI, lizards were seen. Moving on to Everett Moss,
where we split into three groups to monitor selected Catabrosa aquatica (Water Whorl-grass) was seen
scarce species in different parts of the Moss. The at the muddy margins, and Cicuta virosa
leader had recorded Equisetum x litorale (Shore (Cowbane) in plenty in the fen area.
Horsetail) and Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea On the 15th we met at Kelloe and studied water
(Purple Moor-grass) here in 1988, the latter deter- crowfoots on the Blackadder Water.
mined by P.J.O. Trist. Both records are now Ranunculus xkelchoensis and the plant ascribed to
considered unsafe, the former probably relating to R. circinatus x R. fluitans were seen. Moving to the
a form of Equisetum palustre (Marsh Horsetail) and Tweed, four plants of Bromus secalinus (Rye
the latter to an atypical plant of M c. ssp. caerulea. Brome) were spotted by Luke Gaskell in wheat at
However, Salix phylicifolia (Tea-leaved Willow) Ladykirk, the first record for this species from v.c.
was re-found, and orchids monitored were Coral- 81 since 1834. The river was in spate and even with
lorhiza trifida (Coralroot Orchid), Listera ovata waders it was only possible to examine flotsam at
58 Field meeting reports: 2007 - Gordon area & River Tweed / Mid-Perthshire

the river's edge. Four pondweed taxa were fished colony of Centaurium erythraea (Common Centau-
out, including Potamogeton xsalicifolius, with its ry), a locally scarce species, was discovered. It had
parents P. lucens (Shining Pondweed) and P. per/o- been a relaxing day in the sunshine, with many sand
liatus (Perfoliate Pondweed), and these were martins and oystercatchers for company.
floated in an enamel dish for examination. A good

Mid-Perthshire (v.c. 88) 27th - 30 th July

This excursion was a contribution to the Atlas included Salix arbuscula (Mountain Willow), Salix
Update Project to ensure that every hectad within reticulata (Net-leaved Willow) andSalix xpunctata
the vice-county will be visited between the years the hybrid between S. myrsinifolia and S.
2000 to 2009. Sixteen BSBI members took part and myrsinites. Other delights included Potentilla
contributed 32 recording days over the length of the crantzii (Alpine Cinquefoil), Dryas octopetala
excursion. Recording was carried out at tetrad (Mountain Avens), Sibbaldia procumbens
level, visiting at least two in every hectad. (Sibbaldia), Saxifraga nivalis (Alpine Saxifrage)
Meall Tairneachan (NN85), not to be confused and Carex atrata (Black Alpine-sedge). Helianthe-
with the similarly named Meall nan Tarmachan in mum nummularium (Common Rock-rose) graced
the Lawers range, was our first objective. We left the fmal descent, and no sooner was it seen than
the car park at the limekiln near Kinardochy, where GPS receivers clicked into action measuring its
there is a quarry, and at its edge we saw Gentianella altitude at 794m, which was immediately followed
amarella ssp. septentrionalis (Autumn Gentian) by the announcement from Jim McIntosh that this
that was about to flower. From there we left the was an altitudinal record.
limestone behind and followed a burn that cuts its Records from Lochs Finnart and Monaghan
way through mica schist. The higher humidity (NN55), which lie to the south of Loch Rannoch,
beside the bum had helped to preserve a woodland were sparse in the vice-county records, which was
flora despite the scant tree cover. More deeply cut surprising, despite the visits that had been made by
sections of rock revealed Rubus saxatilis (Stone recorders, and the arrangements for this excursion
Bramble), Arabis hirsuta (Hairy Rock-cress) and were to determine if some plants or areas had been
Carex vaginata (Sheathed Sedge). Away from the missed. On our visit we found two sedges charac-
burn we found Carex capillaris (Hair Sedge) and teristic of different habitats; Carex lasiocarpa
Juncus triglumis (Three-flowered Rush) at 600m, (Slender Sedge), a swamp species with almost
sheltered below a crag, and beside burnt heather we thread-like leaves and bracts that can be mistaken
found Lycopodium annotinum (Interrupted for some forms of Carex nigra (Common Sedge),
Clubmoss). On Meall Taimeachan we saw but not when in flower as C. lasiocarpa has hairy
Saxifraga hypnoides (Mossy Saxifrage) as well as utricles, although it is a shy-flowering plant. Carex
S. aizoides (Yellow Saxifrage), S. oppositifolia pauciflora (Few-flowered Sedge) could not be
(Purple Saxifrage) and S. stellaris (Starry more distinct. It is short and grows in sphagnum
Saxifrage) that had been seen earlier. We bogs; its spreading fruit and leaves are straw
descended a wet slope down to the barytes mine coloured and stand out at quite a distance. An
road that would take us back to the car park where aquatic growing in the shallow pools on the bog
we started. Barytes is mined and ground down to was Utricularia minor (Lesser Bladderwort). This
provide an additive to drilling fluids that helps to is the only member of the genus that flowers
contain oil, gas and water encountered at high regularly in our area; its pale yellow, slight flowers
pressure during drilling for oil and gas. Martin are characteristic. We had split into two groups to
Robinson's keen eye spotted Equisetum variegatum cover both shores of the lochs, but one group had
(Variegated Horsetail) in the flush and E. pratense covered half of one shore when the other had hardly
(Shady Horsetail) was also seen there. got off the starting blocks! Problems, something
The following day we followed the Invervar Burn interesting perhaps? Martin Robinson's ever keen
from Glen Lyon (NN64) and explored the crags in eye had picked up the tiniest member of our orchid
the corrie between Carn Gorm and An Sgorr. This family Hammarbya paludosa (Bog Orchid); in all
was the most challenging of our four days of excur- 16 flowering spikes and 22 non-flowering spikes
sions, but our exertions were thoroughly rewarded. were counted, and that must have been the best
Willows were well represented, with many signs of catch of the day!
natural regeneration on the crags, and our sightings
Field meeting reports: 2007 - Mid-Perthshire / Isle of Man 59

In the evening we dined in a restaurant in the ula. The end of the limestone was punctuated by
village of Weem near Aberfeldy where we were two adders that were sunning themselves. One
staying. We celebrated Lynne Farrell's birthday, slipped into the undergrowth at the approach of the
who had not long retired from SNH. Some of us party, but the other remained for all to admire. We
stayed in what had been the quarters of General ascended the northern slopes of Dun Coillich where
George Wade during the building of the military the soils are generally acid, but with pockets of
road from Crieff to Dalnacardoch in the l730s. slightly calcareous conditions. Our finds included
Our final day was spent at Dun Coillich (NN75), Polygala vulgaris (Common Milkwort), much less
to the south west of our first excursion. In the common than Polygala serpyllifolia (Heath
morning we explored a limestone cliff at the base of Milkwort) in our area, and Rumex longifolius
Schehallion that was full of interest and colour, (Northern Dock). The slopes had been planted up
almost as if it were a garden in the middle of the as part of a community woodland initiative, and
moor. Helianthemum nummularium was flowering they were planted in the excavated soil that had
plentifully. Other plants of interest were Galium been lifted from the ground by machine. The
boreale (Northern Bedstraw), Antennaria dioica excavations left behind were just the right size to
(Mountain Everlasting), Helictotrichon pratense consume an entire botanist, which made the after-
(Meadow Oat-grass), Listera cordata (Lesser noon's excursions a little challenging to say the least.
Twayblade), Pimpinella saxifraga (Burnet-saxi- We extend our thanks to all who helped on the
frage), Parnassia palustris (Grass-of-Parnassus), excursions and for the considerable number of
Juncus alpinoarticulatus (Alpine Rush) and Carex records and records of interest that were made.
xfulva, the hybrid between C. hostiana x C. virid-

Isle of Man (v.c. 71), 4th - 5th August


This was the first BSBI meeting on the Isle of Man Having lunched at Dhoon Glen, we abandoned
for many years, so it was disappointing that the the planned trip to Snaefell summit (a sheep-grazed
planned route, which included lots of open site, hence off-limits), and proceeded instead to the
farmland and moorland, had to be altered without northernmost tip of the island, Point of Ayre
notice. This was due to the announcement, first (NX468048). This consists of a wide expanse of
thing on the Saturday morning, of emergency foot- shingle beach and low, de-calcified dunes. Nobody
and-mouth disease restrictions to countryside managed to find the elusive Mertensia maritima
access. Fortunately, the Isle of Man has a great (Oyster-plant) this year, but plenty of other shingle
range of habitats within easy reach, and we were species were in evidence, including Glaucium
able to explore alternative places of interest. flavum (Yellow Homed-poppy), Atriplex glabrius-
Ten of us met at Dhoon Glen (SC460865), which cula (Babington's Orache), Atriplex prostrata
has broadleaved woodland on either side of a steep, (Spear-leaved Orache), Cakile maritima (Sea
rocky gorge, leading down to the sea. The gorge Rocket), Polygonum oxyspermum (Ray's
features a very high and spectacular waterfall (the Knotgrass) and Eryngium maritimum (Sea Holly).
Ineen Vooar- 'Big Girl'!) and several smaller falls, The adjacent bare ground also had substantial
providing lots of opportunities for damp- and patches of Erodium maritimum (Sea Stork's-bill)
shade-loving species. Ferns are particularly and E. lebelii (Sticky Stork's-bill).
abundant, and we were pleased to find several more The low-growing Ayres dune-heath vegetation
plants of Dryopteris aemula (Hay-scented Buckler- was distinctive as ever, with localised mats of Rosa
fern) than have previously been recorded here. In spinosissima (Burnet Rose) growing at around 5cm
addition to luxuriant banks of commoner ferns, we tall, and lots to offer the lower plants enthusiasts,
encountered several patches of Asplenium marinum notably Usnea articulata (Sausage Lichen) -
(Sea Spleenwort) growing on the cliffs and rock usually a saxicolous species - growing on bare,
outcrops on the beach. These craggy outcrops have sandy ground, and extensive Cladonia cover. On
become separated from the adjacent cliff, and are the most lichen-rich areas we encountered Erica
very exposed to the island's notoriously strong cinerea (Bell Heather) growing through a grey
maritime gales. This is evident from the tiny, carpet of Cladonia portentosa, C. arbuscula, C.
stunted Quercus petraea (Sessile Oak) 'trees' fimbriata, C. floerkeana, C. uncialis and Hypogym-
which, despite substantial trunks of up to 30cm nia physodes, amongst other lichens. On the way
diameter, are only a metre tall at most. home, an attempt to find Senecio doria (Golden
60 Field meeting reports: 2007 - Isle of Man / Arisaig

Ragwort) at its former station nearby proved unsuc- eat in warmth and comfort in her lovely cottage
cessful. Unfortunately, the wall by which it has next to our final port of call: Scarlett Point
been recorded for several years running appears to (SC256662). Here the shallow, brackish pools had
have been re-built and given a generous coat of abundant Potamogeton pectinatus (Fennel
white paint. Pondweed) and Chara species (stoneworts), with
On Sunday, we headed south to Fort Island fringes of Eleocharis quinqueflora (Few-flowered
(SC295674). This is a tiny outcrop of Langness, Spike-rush), E. palustris (Common Spike-rush), E.
itself a spit of rocky coastland extending from the uniglumis (Slender Spike-rush) and occasional
south-east coast. As with the sites visited on the Isolepis cernua (Slender Club-rush). The adjacent
Saturday, it is part of a designated Area of Special grassland had a rich assortment of plants, including
Scientific Interest. Several plants which are Astragalus danicus (Purple Milk-vetch), at one of
Protected Species on the Isle of Man were re-found, its rare western stations, and another welcome
including Blysmus rufus (Saltmarsh Flat-sedge), discovery: a thriving patch of Trifolium fragiferum
Oenanthe lachenalii (Parsley Water-dropwort) and (Strawberry Clover), a species not seen on the
a single plant of Limonium vulgare (Common Sea- island for several years, and never before at this
lavender). There was also a nice surprise: the beds location.
of Juncus gerardii (Saltmarsh Rush) turned out to The meeting was rained off for good before the
contain a localised patch of J. compressus (Round- second day was over, but fortunately those
fruited Rush) - the latter being a species not previ- members who stayed on the island a little longer
ously recorded on the island. into the week were able to continue their botanising
The weather worsened around Sunday lunchtime, under better conditions. I would like to thank all
hence I am extremely grateful to Fenella Butler, those who helped to make this weekend a success
who gave us the chance to escape the downpour and despite the less than ideal circumstances.

Arisaig, Westerness (v.c. 97), 25 th - 26th August


Arisaig is a popular place to visit for its sandy and some impressive specimens of the spider
beaches and scenic views of the Small Isles and Araneus quadratus! Loch Dubh is a Site of Special
Skye, but sunbathing was not on the agenda for 9 Scientific Interest because of its population of C.
botanists who met there over the August Bank buxbaumii and some ofthe group stumbled down to
Holiday weekend. Coming from diverse parts of the loch edge through tussocks of Molinia caerulea
Scotland, we had four main aims - to look for (Purple Moor-grass) to assess this sedge's status for
notable species, to compile tetrad lists, to learn Scottish Natural Heritage. The number of flower-
from each other, and above all to enjoy ourselves - ing heads found was similar to that in 2000, but
and I think we were successful in all four. much lower than counts from the 1990s, perhaps
Saturday was spent in hectad NM68, one of the related to the absence of grazing, following enclo-
richest in the vice-county. Our first objective was sure of a large area of the estate to encourage
Loch nan Eala, in particular to find one of the natural regeneration of woodland. Whether the
specialities of Westerne ss, Carex buxbaumii (Club plant itself is declining in abundance is difficult to
Sedge). We soon found the distinctive fruiting say.
heads of this species and estimated the size of the We headed west to the coast, and a new tetrad.
main colony, which seemed similar to previous At Camas an t-Salainn we found saltmarsh with
records. The surrounding fen had a good selection large beds of Bolboschoenus maritimus (Sea
of wetland plants though Dryopteris carthusiana Clubrush) and, more unusually, Schoenoplectus
(Narrow Buckler-fern) eluded us. We followed the tabernaemontani (Grey Clubrush). Lowland
track south through birch woodland, noting Dryop- members of the group were surprised at my excite-
teris aemula (Hay-scented Buckler-fern) and ment on finding a fringe of Epilobium hirsutum
Bromopsis ramosa (Hairy-brome) along the way. (Great Willowherb) at one of its few localities in the
We arrived in sunshine at picturesque Loch Dubh vice-county. We followed the coast back to Arisaig
to find a dancing swarm of red-legged St Mark's and were pleased to find a new site for Juncus
flies (Bibio sp.). A base-rich flush gave us one of maritimus (Sea Rush). But the prize find to end the
the joys oflate summer, Parnassia palustris (Grass day was at the car park - Coronopus didymus
ofPamassus), along with Scutellaria minor (Lesser (Lesser Swine-cress), an alien, but a first for
Skullcap), Pinguicula lusitanica (Pale Butterwort) Westemess. The evening was spent in the pub with
Field meeting reports : 2007 - Arisaig / Watersmeet 61

specimens and field guides competing for space but I knew that these lochs were better than
with fish and chips, to the amusement ofthe locals. average, with the nationally rare Najas jlexilis
Sunday followed a similar weather pattern to (Slender Naiad) of especial interest. In an attempt
Saturday, with early dampness turning to sunshine. to focus on plants I left my insect net behind,
We started at Camusdarach, the beach made though dragonflies such as the enigmatic Highland
famous by the film 'Local Hero'. We noted Darter Sympetrum nigricans kept distracting us!
Sparganium erectum (Branched Bur-reed) and Keen to try out recently acquired skills from Nick
Hypericum tetrapterum (Square-stalked St John's- Stewart's excellent aquatics course at Kindrogan,
wort) in the stream, then made for the dunes, where but without a grapnel, due to the presence of
Thalictrum minus (Lesser Meadow-rue) and N. jlexilis, we had to settle for a washed-up
Teesdalia nudicaulis (Shepherd's Cress) were fragment of Potamogeton berchtoldii (Small
amongst our finds. In a remnant slack behind the Pondweed) in Loch a Bhada Dharaich, and Utricu-
dunes we identified Persicaria hydropiper (Water- laria ochroleuca (Pale Bladderwort) growing in the
pepper), but less welcome was a small patch of shallows; but fine displays of Nymphaea alba
Crassula helmsii (New Zealand Pygmyweed), (White Water-lily) in all three lochs made up for
another first (and last?) for v.c. 97. Ironically I had any disappointment. A return visit after autumn
just written in British Wildlife that C. helmsii had winds is required!
not yet reached Westerness! One of the group took a detour to find a very nice
Half the party continued to explore the coast in soakway through a patch of bog with much fruiting
the afternoon, with notable records for Catabrosa Sparganium natans (Small Bur-reed), Utricularia
aquatica (Whorl-grass) and Polygonum oxysper- minor (Lesser Bladderwort) and Chara virgata
mum raii (Ray's Knotgrass), whilst I led the (Delicate Stonewort). Some healthy stands of
remainder up to a chain of three delightful lochs Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern) on the margin of
north of Loch Morar - Loch a Bhada Dharaich, Loch an Nostarie gave us one of many new hectad
Lochan a Mheadhoin and Loch an Nostarie. records, to end a productive and enjoyable weekend.
Westerness is not renowned for its aquatic plants,

Watersmeet, Lynton, North Devon (voco 4), 29th - 30 th September


The aim of this joint meeting between the BSBI and 1985 by M.E. Proctor, which reported at least 32
the Devonshire Association for the Advancement Bloody Whitebeams, one Grey-leaved Whitebeam,
of Science was to map the distribution of the four 18 Slender Whitebeams, 13 No Parking White-
endemic Sorbus (whitebeams) in the superb beams and 106 undetermined trees of these latter
Watersmeet woodlands owned by the National two species.
Trust. The first shock of the week was the sheer scale of
Watersmeet is best known for both the Sorbus the woodlands, much bigger than Tim had remem-
subcuneata (Slender Whitebeam) and the strongly bered! The second shock was the heavy rain all
lobed form of Devon whitebeam which became Saturday morning, which began shortly after the
known as Sorbus 'No Parking', after a notice nailed leaders had explained how the survey was to be
to a tree in the 1930s (the notice has been replaced carried out and demonstrated how to identify the
by one on the wall saying 'Staff parking only'). species - more like 'Watersdeep' than Watersmeet.
Isoenzyme studies by M.E. Proctor, M.C.F. Proctor Fortunately Sunday was much more pleasant.
and A. Groenhof in the 1980s (New Phytologist The same survey methods were used as for our
112: 569-575) showed that the No Parking White- 2004 Sorbus bristoliensis (Bristol Whitebeam)
beam is distinct from the true Sorbus devoniensis survey (Watsonia, in press). The botanists split into
(Devon Whitebeam) and is endemic to Watersmeet groups of 2-3 and headed for the woods. It was
and the adjacent Sillery Sands. Devon Whitebeam often not easy to see the trees for the wood, but
does not occur at Watersmeet, although this is leaves on the ground were often a good way to find
where most botanists think that they have seen it! them amongst the oaks. For each tree, the location
Watersmeet also holds a small population of Sorbus was noted, using hand-held GPS units, the height
porrigentiformis (Grey-leaved Whitebeam) and the was estimated by eye, the girth measured at 1.3m,
type locality for Sorbus vexans (Bloody White- the growth form noted as coppice or maiden, and
beam). Some population data for all four species fruit was noted if present. The GPS units proved
was available from the surveys carried out in 1981- surprisingly accurate, despite the dense woodland
62 Field meeting reports: 2007 - Watersmeet 1Correction - Browndown and Gilkicker 1
Report of the Annual Exhibition Meeting 2007

canopy and heavy cloud. The average difference outside this central area on Hangman Grits to the
between seven units at the start of the day was north, or to the south, where the woodlands change
under 4m in either direction (maximum difference to elm-ash-oak or beech plantations on superficial
15m E-W and 16m N-S), and the average reported deposits. Often areas only had one whitebeam
accuracy was +1- 12m. species or another, though sometimes they grew
During the course ofthe weekend and the follow- intermixed. There was a surprising amount of
ing weeks, 478 whitebeams were recorded, of regeneration, given the amount of deer present,
which there were 17 Bloody Wbitebeams, 3 Grey- with many saplings in the understorey having lost
leaved Wbitebeams, 270 Slender Wbitebeams most of their leaves. One Slender Wbitebeam was
(82% of the world population), 108 No Parking even spotted behind the excellent tea rooms by Paul
Wbitebeams (99% of the world population) and 69 Gainey whilst taking refreshments!
undetermined trees of the latter two. Sorbus Additional botanical interest was provided by the
aucuparia (Rowan) is widespread in the woods and large populations of Euphorbia hyberna (Irish
was not mapped. The three-fold increase in Spurge) lining the paths, Sedum forsterianum
numbers is probably largely due to more intensive (Rock Stonecrop) and one clump of Polypodium
survey. cambricum (Southern Polypody) on acid slates,
Some trees recorded by M.E. Proctor, which were found by Mark Jannick.
mapped more accurately, could not be re-found and We are grateful to the 23 botanists who helped
are presumed to have gone. It was surprising how during the weekend, and who seemed to enjoy it
clustered the populations of both Slender Wbite- despite the hard labour. Mind you, in the sunshine,
beam and No Parking Wbitebeam were to the it is a lovely place to be. The results will be written
central Watersmeet area, where the coppice up in due course.
overlies Lynton Slates. Very few trees occurred

Correction to meeting report in BSBI News, 106: 50-52

Browndown and Gilkicker, South Hants (v.c. 11) 2nd June 2007
MARTIN RAND, 21 Pine Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Hants., S053 lLH
Through a quirk of Microsoft WORD's tetralix at this site has been a matter of some
revision markup, some corrections in the trip contention locally, I would be grateful for the
report I submitted for the Browndown meeting chance to say that we did not see this species
became misinterpreted as additions. Most during the meeting.
were trivial, but as the occurrence of Erica


MAN SHOWLER, 12 Wedgwood Drive, Hughenden Valley, High Wycombe, Bucks., HP14 4PA
Some 150 members and guests attended this what is on show, unless the title on the
meeting at Baden-Powell House, adjoining the programme says all that the exhibitor wishes
Natural History Museum, ostensibly to view to put on record.
the 37 exhibits; but so much time is taken up Posters were displayed by: The Institute for
with talking that one wonders - are exhibits Analytical Plant Illustration: 'Native climb-
actually needed? ing plants' (always hoping for new members)
I fear that this report will be shorter than and Fred Rumsey: 'New ferns to the British
usual. This is due in part to my late arrival, Isles, native and alien' (which included an
owing to the abysmal service on London account of the recently discovered Lycopo-
Underground, and also to having abstracts for dium lagopus in Scotland)
only three exhibits (plus two more added in Another poster, displayed by Fred Rumsey
proof). It is really not possible to report on & Helena Crouch on 'The genus Pteris in the
each without the provision of something to say British Isles' was presented with the intention
Report of the Annual Exhibition Meeting 2007 63

of soliciting records of these ferns from short and insect pollinators scarce. In order to
members ofthe BSBI for a forthcoming paper survive, many species have found it necessary
to be submitted to Watsonia. A key was to evolve less orthodox methods of reproduc-
provided to separate the five species of Pteris tion. In such a harsh environment, plants are
found naturalised in the British Isles. Pteris of small stature, usually just a few centimetres
cretica is apparently the most commonly tall. However, some possess relatively large,
naturalised species, although many records brightly-coloured flowers in order to attract
may actually be in error for P. nipponica and pollinators, whereas others propagate vegeta-
P. multifida. Photographs showed typical tively in less orthodox ways. Polemonium
P. cretica and a cultivar, 'Wimsettii', both boreale (Polar Jacob's-ladder) and Saxifraga
naturalised in basements in Bath. Pteris platysepala (Spider-plant), two species occur-
nipponica, which is usually variegated, has ring to nearly 80· N in Spitsbergen (Svalbard),
been found recently in 4 London sites and in were selected as examples. Photographs and
Cambridge. Photographs demonstrated the preserved material of each were shown, the
distinctive frond shape of adult and juvenile large, attractive, bright blue flowers of the
plants in Borough and Mayfair respectively. former species, and the long tentacle-like
Pteris multifida has now been recorded from 6 runners of the latter exemplifying two such
vice counties. Photographs showed plants in methods. A brief outline was also given of
basements in Bath and Cambridge and down a their world-wide distribution and ecological
well in Beauworth (v.c. 11). Pteris tremula is requirements" .
a large fern with more divided fronds than Books on show included Trevor Evans'
other species, but has had a more transient new and excellent Flora of Monmouthshire
existence, being killed by harsh winters. A and the at-last-complete Sedge Handbook by
photograph showed a handsome plant at a Jermy, Simpson, Foley & Porter, produced
former site in Westminster. Pteris vittata is by Gwynn Ellis, who, incidentally, also
also of borderline hardiness. It has persisted produced 'Gwynn's nearly useful list' - an
on the walls of a heated greenhouse in Oxford Excel spreadsheet of over 10,000 taxa
Botanic Gardens since 1924 and a photograph reported from the British Isles with scientific
of the single extant plant was displayed. and vernacular names, v.c. distribution, details
Ailsa Burns extolled the delights-to-be of of status in various publications, altogether
the BSBI Spring Meeting at Slapton on 13 th - over thirty fields covering such diverse
15 th June 2008, and much more sadly reported attributes as conservation designations,
on the death of Bridget Ozanne, v.c. Recorder habitats, dates of first records, altitude records,
for Guernsey, showing a report on her busy etc., etc. Copies are available free of charge if
life from the local press. She was also you send him a blank CD with return postage.
involved with the now annual Photographic Back to the books, Rose Murphy and Ian
Competition which this year had the theme Bennallick showed a draft of a 'Mini-hand-
'My plant of the Year'. The winner was book of fumitories of Britain and Ireland',
judged to be Kath Pryce for her superb photo which will no doubt include Rose Murphy's
of Hymenophyllum tunbrigense which is here 'Fumaria agraria in Britain', carefully
reproduced on the inside of the back cover. described and drawn. Clive Lovatt, with
Ruth Berry, with 'Art in Nature', showed as 'Bristol botanists', presaged a further publica-
usual more of her splendid photos and also tion in the future in 'Towards a new history of
combined with Michael Foley to show plants Bristol botany', detailing the work of ten of
in Spitsbergen. these people. John Poland hopefully should
Michael Foley also showed 'Polemonium be in print soon, but contented himself with a
boreale and Saxifraga platysepala - two inter- 'Vegetative key to the British flora: identifica-
esting high arctic plants'. His abstract reads: tion quiz', which your reviewer had no time to
"In the high arctic the growing season is very attempt (but would have liked to). It was no
64 Report of the Annual Exhibition Meeting 2007

doubt fiendish, but this means you will need to Watereman and Carolyn Helyar were shown,
buy his book to solve your difficulties. with the preliminary conclusion that the
Jane Croft showed lists both of Field hybrid with Italian Lords-and-Iadies occurs,
Meetings now gone and those to come in but that there is no confirmed record of the
2008. Another season of enjoyment will result latter"; and also photographs of several roses
from her hard work; while the 'BSBI that had escaped from gardens, requesting
postcards' from Margot Godfrey may well comments on their names.
bring back memories of past meetings and George Hutchinson provided a check-list
outings. Ian Bennallick had three exhibits: of the 180 Cotoneaster taxa at NMW, an
'IdentifYing Important Plant Areas in increase of 58 since the last list, produced in
Cornwall'; 'Recording in Cornwall in 2006- 2002. Twenty six taxa have been recorded
2007'; and 'Identifying declining flowering from the wild in Wales with representative
plants and ferns in Cornwall'. Margaret specimens at NMW. Jeanette Fryer was
Bradshaw had a similar theme in 'Upper acknowledged for updating nomenclature,
Teesdale: where have all the flowers gone?', Gordon Hanson for donating Cotoneaster
noting general decreases, notably in Alchemil- specimens (confirmed J. Fryer), and others for
la. Her plea was that 'now is payback time - sending in material for identification.
so get out there and encourage others to enjoy Sean Kadey with 'Help!' proved useful, as
and value our flora'. Not all is doom and always, in identification of unknowns, but will
gloom, however. Simon Leach, with tables, anyone offer to help him? After 27 years, he
figures and photographs, reported on 'Shore would like someone else to take over - offers
Dock at Soar Mill Cove, S. Devon', where it to him please. An alternative to the above
has made a sudden appearance, and in large might perhaps be hinted at by Richard
numbers. Geoffrey Kitchener and Alan GornaH as self-help, in 'Have you sccn your
Leslie gave details of 'Tournefort's Willow- local herbarium?' Mark Spencer showed
herb: a Mediterranean taxon in Britain'. This 'Recent finds in London', and Jacqueline
is Epilobium tetragonum ssp. tournefortii, a Brown again exhibited work on
fine large-flowered plant newly discovered on 'Disentangling bindweeds - a molecular and
the Royston by-pass. Alan Leslie also morphological study of British Calystegia'
showed 'New Cambridgeshire hybrids'. (funded by the BSBI).
There were more hybrids from Alison Lean, As usual, Mervyn South am was exhibiting
most notably Crataegus laevigata x Mespilus Apiaceae (what else?), this year with a splen-
germanica = x Crataegaemespilus grandiflora did display of Bupleurum, which has 39
(Haw-medlar). Another unusual plant was species in Europe, the largest genus in the
from Jacqueline Maynard and Peter Benoit: family. Tim Rich showed photos and had
'Cardamine pratensis, flore pleno in v.c. 48'; information on 'Watersmeet Whitebeams',
while a normal plant was shown by Heten and more information on these can be obtained
Proctor in 'The distribution of White Helle- from the appropriate field meeting report in
borine in Friston Forest', with photographs this issue of BSBI News. To taper off, as it
and discussion. It was shown that there was a were: Tim also had a 'Very small exhibit' - ten
preference for level ground, low in nitrogen ordinary plants of very small size, ranging from
and other nutrients, near hilltops and with a Aira caryophyUea (Silver Hair-grass) to
closed tree canopy. Jean Coombes discussed Euphorbia exigua (Dwarf Spurge), which we
'Trees and woodland'. were invited to identifY, if we could find them!
Roger YeaH gave us 'News from Sark, Most people did, with the aid of a hand-lens
2006-7', giving specimens and/or photographs (find them, that is), but one disappeared before
of a range of species with first records outside the end. Or perhaps I just couldn't see it?
gardens; 'Lords-and-Iadies', where "results of
recent work on the plants in Sark by Rob
Book Notes - Book reviews for Watsonia 65

Book reviews for Watsonia: comments on the duties of reviewers
ARTHUR CRATER, Windover, Penyrangor, Aberystwyth, SY23 IBJ
JOHN EDMONDSON (book reviews editor, Watsonia), National Museums Liverpool, William
Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EN (
Traditionally Watsonia has been the place for with any competitors, but should bear in mind
serious scholarly reviews of newly published that complex works like identification Floras
books. Short listings announcing the receipt of may require years of use by many people
books are published as 'book notes' in BSBI before their merits can be properly assessed.
News, along with a descriptive paragraph Choosing the right reviewer is a vital aspect
where the book was judged not to be of suffi- of the process. Obviously it should be
cient interest to warrant a full review. someone who knows the subject, or who is
Book reviews are often the most eagerly open-minded enough to be willing to learn
read items in learned journals and other scien- from the book. If the potential reviewer has
tific and natural history periodicals. They can written on the same subject, or is known to
be very influential, and are popular because have different views from the book's author or
they are often the only items to express in an is in any other sense a rival, he should be
unfettered way the personality of the writer. chosen only if he can be relied on to give an
Traditionally they are only lightly copy-edit- objective and fair assessment. This seems
ed, only gross errors of fact being corrected, obvious, but reviews can and do go wrong in
and in refereed journals they may be the only this way.
items to escape the guarantee of scientific Listing of trivial errors such as misprints
validity provided by the referee system. usually only serves to show that the reviewer
Usually all is well with them, but sometimes a has read the book, but this can be better done
review is so inadequate or unjust that there simply by stating that they occur. Serious and
seems legitimate concern whether the process misleading errors should of course be noted,
is working properly. Once a reviews editor especially if it is the sort of book likely to go
has chosen a reviewer and commissioned the into a second edition. It is very appropriate,
review, it can be impossible to remedy matters and helpful, to point out where the publisher
ifthe resulting review proves to be unworthy. has let down the author, for example by
It is almost unheard of for a review to be pricing the book too high, or by poor repro-
rejected outright by the editor, as (unlike a duction of plates, or to praise the publisher for
scientific paper) it represents a considered the pricing and quality of production to
opinion rather than a testable piece of encourage others. A surprising number of
research. We therefore feel that some 'hints reviews fail to mention quite basic points: is
for hard-pressed reviewers' may be in order. the book readable; does it contain new or
Copies of this article will be sent to those who useful information; is it better or worse than its
agree to review a book in future. competitors; who is it aimed at; should the
The main duty of a book reviewer should be target reader buy it; is it good value?
to the potential readers of the book. The latter For field guides, the reviewer should say
should get an idea from the review whether it whether it is in fact usable in the field; how
is worth their reading or buying the book. At comprehensive is its coverage of species (a
the same time, the reviewer must be fair, but crucial and often overlooked matter); does it
not over-indulgent to the author, praising or work? If the book is in a standard category,
chiding where appropriate. The reviewer e.g. a county Flora, a field guide or a
should, where relevant, compare the book monograph, how does it compare with others
66 Book Notes - Book reviews for Watsonia I Conserving the flora oflimestone dry stone walls

in the same area and in the same category; of major botanical figures. European field
does it set new standards, is it an exemplary guides may be covered if their content is
work? It should be possible, and it is very relevant to a significant part of the British and
helpful, to indicate such things without being Irish floras, as are books covering major
invidious. It is especially useful where appro- holiday regions aimed at visitors rather than
priate to hold up a book, or a particular feature resident botanists. Also deserving of treat-
of it, as a good example for future authors of ment are significant reports on conservation of
similar works to follow. the wild flora, county Red Lists and the like,
Book reviews serve a variety of purposes for and we naturally welcome books in other
those involved. For the publisher, a favoura- categories that will be of particular interest to
ble review is a useful marketing tool; for the our members.
author, it can provide valuable feedback on Books submitted to us but not sent out for
their efforts and as stated above it is often the review are treated as unsolicited gifts to the
part of the journal to which many readers turn Society, and may be passed on for sale or
before tackling the main content. But in order donated to institutions that host aspects of the
to justify inclusion in the journal, the book Society's operations. Copies of the published
review must cover areas relevant to the scope reviews, usually as PDF files, are sent to the
ofthe journal and ofthe Society, which means publisher andlor author. The reviews editor is
that some books which the author or publisher always open to suggestions from BSBI
wishes to see reviewed do not in fact warrant members about books they feel worthy of
such a treatment. review, though if a title is requested from a
Publishers of new books may appreciate publisher, the journal is then under an obliga-
some guidelines about which books are suita- tion to review it.
ble for a full review. First among our subject Further reading
areas worthy of coverage are, naturally, CRATER, A. 1990. Financing the publication
national Floras and field guides, British and oflocal Floras. BSBI News 55: 13-15.
Irish county Floras, atlases and monographs, PEARMAN, D. 2002. The ideal Flora. BSBI
including the Society's own Handbooks. News 91: 60-64.
Equally suitable for inclusion are works on the PEARMAN, D. 2003. Economics of Flora pub-
history of botany in our area, and biographies lishing. BSBI News 93: 70-72.

Conserving the flora of limestone dry stone walls: an advisory booklet

JOHN PRESLAND, 175c Ashley Lane, Winsley, Bradford-an-Avon, Wiltshire BA15 2HR

This colourful l2-page booklet (Published by the Cotswolds, in the Mendips and on dry
the Wiltshire Natural History Publications stone walls in general. Beginning with an
Trust, 2007) is a guide to conserving the introduction which explains the derivation,
community of plants, lichens and fungi which rationale and scope of the contents, it goes on
grow on limestone dry stone walls. Many to describe the nature and variety of dry stone
volunteers are engaged throughout the country wall structures and the importance of this
in the valuable work of building and repairing habitat for wildlife. An extensive section then
these walls. So far, however, there has been provides help in identifying key species, with
little guidance on how to do this in a way short, informative descriptions and colour
which promotes the development and survival photo illustrations. This enables a description
of this "flora". It is based on a study of the of the flora of a particular wall to be described,
flora of dry stone walls in the parish of to help make decisions on its priority for
Winsley in West Wiltshire (see next issue) and conservation. The booklet concludes by
at the southern end of the Cotswolds, and on a providing point-by-point guidance on conser-
range of literature on such walls elsewhere in vation measures. These should be helpful for
Book Notes - Conserving the flora oflimestone dry stone walls / The wildflowers of the Isle ofPurbeck 67

conservation of dry stone walls throughout the • Dry Stone Walling Association of Great
country, even when they are not built of Britain (DSWA), Westmorland County
limestone, though the precise composition of Showground, Lane Farn1, Crooklands, Mil-
the flora will differ between areas and will be nethorpe, Cumbria LA7 7NH. Tel: 015395
very different for walls made from acid rocks. 67953. Website: Email:
The booklet should be helpful to all involved
in the building and repair of dry stone walls, to • Summerfield Books, 3 Phoenix park, Skel-
those planning and organising their conserva- ton, Penrith, Cumbria CAll 9SD. Tel:
tion, and to botanists with an interest in the 01768484909. Website:
flora of this particular habitat. Email:
The booklet is available from either of:

The wild flowers of the Isle of Purbeck

EDWARD PRATT, 7 Bay Close, Swanage, Dorset, BH191RE
I am grateful for the opportunity to explain the or on land which is either open access under
thinking and purpose behind The wild flowers the Countryside and Rights Of Way Act 2000,
of the Isle of Purbeck, Brownsea and or which is regarded as open access by the
Sandbanks which will be published in April, owner - like The National Trust or the Dorset
because it is not a flora in the usual sense. It Wildlife Trust. These open areas are shaded
arose from concern about the lack of up-and- on fue sketch maps. Just a few private
coming botanists. Its chief purpose is to locations are given imprecisely, in cases
encourage more people into the joys of flower- where the species can be seen on an annual
hunting, and not to be put offby the number of organised walk. Also no locations are given
flower species, nor by the preference of scien- for seven species of orchid which are confined
tific names over English names. to one or two localities, because there has been
The 'New Atlas' showed that Purbeck is fue some digging of rare orchids in recent years.
richest area in the British Isles in terms of So the book is not a complete record of the
numbers of native and anciently introduced distribution of species in the area. The recent
species of higher plants. So what better place Flora ofDorset gives most such distributions.
to see them and to learn to identify them? The Many readers will not be used to using map
book gives precise directions to the localities references, so eight-figure ones are only used
of less common flowers. Those who use it in a few cases when there is a lack of physical
will not have to search a tetrad for a species, reference points, chiefly on heaths. Scientific
or even the 10,000 square metres of a six- names appear with English ones in the Plant
figure map reference. Many localities are List, but only English names are used in the
given to the nearest ten metres - for example Introduction.
'So side of road at Ailwood Farm' or '20m. N. There is, however, much in the book which
of A351 by path 4'. Use is made of parish will be of interest to those who are not begin-
public path and bridleway numbers, which are ners, for example points of distinction which
shown on the sketch maps in the book, so as to work for distinguishing similar species, some
avoid longer descriptions like 'path from descriptions of hybrids, and good numbers of
Furzebrook road to near Cotness', which locations for specialities of the area. There is
would add considerably to the length and price also a brief epilogue, which draws on refer-
of the book ences to flowers in the Bible.
The localities given are nearly all places Similar books could be written for some
where plants can be seen without permission other parts of the country. It remains to be
having to be sought - by public rights of way, seen whether this will be the first of a new
68 Book Notes - The wildflowers of the Isle ofPurbeck / Launch of Flora ofMonmouthshire

genre of guides. Many people come to holiday References:

in Purbeck and Sandbanks for their beaches, BOWEN, H.lM. 2000. The flora of Dorset.
or to walk the Coast Path, but some other parts Pisces Publications, Newbury.
of the area are almost deserted, even in the PRESTON, C.D., PEARMAN, D.A., & DINES,
height of the holiday season. They await T.D. (eds.) 2002. New atlas of the British
discovery. and Irish flora. Oxford University Press,
There will be a pre-publication offer for the Oxford.
book on the web site at: www. from 5th February.

Launch of the Flora ofMonmouthshire

ELSA WOOD, The Nurtons, Tintern, Chepstow, Gwent, NP16 7NX

On 5th December between 70 and 80 people 'One of the best and most readable floras to
gathered for the launch of the 'Flora of be produced for a long time .... '
Monmouthshire' by Trevor Evans; several 'A wonderful book to dip into ... '
were BSBI members. This was an eagerly 'Beautifully illustrated ... '
awaited volume and several of us there had 'A valuable field reference work as well as
been involved with the project since its incep- an excellent atlas flora .. '
tion. There were representatives from the 'A great achievement to produce not only
organisations that had sponsored the book: the flora but also the "Rare Plant Register for
The Chepstow Society, Monmouthshire Monmouthshire" in the same year'
Meadows Group, SEWBReC (The South East Trevor then reminisced about some of the
Wales Biological Records Centre), Wild notable botanical finds in the county and about
Flower Society and Monmouthshire County some of the recorders both those living and
Council. There was also representation from those now pushing up Bellis perennis. He also
other organisations. thanked people involved in the production of
The fact that the majority of the people that the flora.
had been invited, attended, was a measure of Dr George Peterken (president of the Gwent
the affection and high regard with which Wildlife Trust) gave another tribute and
Trevor is held. bestowed upon him the honour of Vice-presi-
The formal proceedings began with dency of the Trust for his services to nature
welcome and introductions from Dr Stephanie conservation in the County.
Tyler. Tim Rich then gave an amusing intro- The relaxed venue of Llandogo Millennium
duction to Trevor, effortlessly bouncing off Hall allowed for attendees to meet each other,
Trevor's own sense of humour! chat to old friends and enjoy a glass of wine
He then read out messages from those and a bite whilst Trevor signed books (see
unable to attend; most notably a tribute from Colour Section, Plate 4).
Joan Ruddock MP (plus her order for the I think it was a memorable evening for the
book!). There were many congratulations v.c. 35 recorder to treasure in the days to come.
from BSBI recorders, from Trevor Dines and So well done, Trevor - we now look forward
Ray Woods from 'Plantlife' and several others. to the' Supplement to the Flora ofMonmouth-
Amongst the accolades: shire' which I'm sure he has already started!
Obituary Notes 69

MARY BRIGGs, 9 A run Prospect, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 JAL

* An obituary will be published in Watsonia. It was with much sadness that I learnt that
With regret we report the death of Prof. Jack Douglas Henderson passed away on Saturday
Hawkes*, renowned for his work on the popato in 10th November, 2007.
S. America. Dr Sandy Knapp, Dept. of Botany, Since retiring from the Garden in 1987,
The Natural History Museum writes: Douglas had been based back in his home terri-
'Potatoes (Solanum spp. related to S. tuberosum tory of Wester Ross, latterly in the same nursing
L., the cultivated potato) are among the world's home as his devoted wife Margaret in Aultbea.
most important crops and the study of their taxon- He had suffered a stroke the previous weekend
omy was fundamentally changed by Jack and been in the care of the Raigmore Hospital in
Hawkes' work. Even though current taxonomic Inverness. His daughters Barbara and Jennifer,
opinion is changing some of his species concepts, together with Margaret had been able to visit
his influence on the way in which potato taxon- him. Regrettably his son Neil, resident in
omy is done has been profound. His extensive Australia, was unable to get back.
field work (vividly evoked in his diaries, Douglas was a true natural historian, who had
published in 2004), examining the plants in their trained as a plant pathologist but sustained a
native habitats, coupled with the establishment of lifelong interest in all groups of plants alongside
germplasm collections, was pioneering, and is still his particular fascination for fungi. He served
emulated today. for 44 years as BSBI vice-county Recorder for
Hawkes, J.G. 2004. Hunting the wild potato in his beloved Wester Ross and had continued to
the South American Andes: memories of the play an active part in field work in the area until
British Empire potato collecting expedition to recently. Among his diverse mycological and
South America 1938-1939. H. Stolk, Boskoop higher plant publications, he co-authored the
(privately published)'. standard reference work for Uredinales : The
Jack joined BSBI in 1953 and in 1966 he British Rust Fungi.
He was promoted to the role of Regius Keeper
organised a Conference for the Society at his
(the 12th to hold the title) in the RBGE' s tercente-
University of Birmingham on: The reproduc-
nary year, shortly after the Garden had transferred
tive biology - taxonomy ofvascular plants and
out of the care of the Ministry of Public Buildings
edited the Report. This was the first of a and Works into the Scottish Office, still as a full
number of Conferences on different aspects of Civil Service body within the Department of
taxonomy organised by the Society in the Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland. Douglas's
1960s & '70s. reign saw the Garden through its fmal16 years as
In 1971 A Computer-mapped Flora A study of a full government institute, through to its current
the County Flora of Warwickshire was published incarnation as an NDPB, with the appointment of
with joint authorship of D.A. Cadbury, lG. the first Board of Trustees (in 1986).
Hawkes & R.C. Redett. This pioneering County Over that period he negotiated major expan-
Flora was the first to be computer mapped; the sions of the Herbarium and Library; he person-
Preface states that the Flora 'brings a completely ally led the installation of the first electron
new look to County Flora work' and explains microscope in support of his ultrastructural
that computer techniques constructed the maps. researches on rust fungi - and pollen grains
So familiar to us now, but at that time new, and (including a fine paper on Meconopsis); he
Jack Hawkes wrote a number of papers on presided over the start of the Flora of Bhutan
computer mapping. project; over the installation of the Peat and Rock
Prof. Douglas Henderson, FRSE : Regius houses; the organisation of the development of
Keeper, RBG Edinburgh 1970-1987 & Queen's the cafe at Benmore; the first opening ofInver-
Botanist, a member since 1955, died on Novem- leith House as an exhibition venue; the growth of
ber 10th 2007, and we are grateful to Alan schools education; the initial computerisation of
Bennell for the following note. plant records. Arguably his robustly obstinate
70 Obituary Notes

style ofleadership enabled the RBGE to begin to with that, he had also been a strong advocate for,
exploit the major innovations of the 1970s and and supporter of the role of "amateurs" in the
1980s, whilst ensuring that the core taxonomic business of biological recording, and as a part of
work on plants and fungi prospered, and while this was instrumental in setting up the Coordinating
the political vicissitudes that were eroding the Commission for Biological Recording, which was
scientific base of many other traditional research the result of pressure from voluntary organisations
organisations were firmly parried. and people in museums etc. to get this activity more
Beyond RBGE, Douglas was very active in the securely funded. The outcome of this work resulted
operations of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, eventually in the foundation of the National Biodi-
the British Mycological Society, The Botanical versity Network, and his taking up the role of first
Society of Edinburgh (now BSS), and networked Chairman of the NBN Trust from 2000-2005. His
keenly with selected fellow Directors, especially work in this was absolutely crucial in ensuring that
via the 1970s club. In retirement, he not only the fledgling NBN Trust succeeded as an independ-
remained botanically active, but sustained a deep ent body, and that the interests of organisations like
interest in the Garden and its work, including the BSBI were fully taken into account in the estab-
serving as a member of the Sibbald Trust. lishment of the Network. He also apparently had
He will be fondly remembered and widely even earlier influences in setting up national parks
missed. in former Yugoslavia, because his exploits in the
We are grateful to Trevor James for the follow- Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during the second
ing note on Prof. Sir John Burnett. world war included a chance meeting with the then
A brief notice of the death on 22nd July 2007 of General Tito in a cave, when Tito was introduced to
Sir John Burnett (former Vice-Chancellor of the value of the Balkan flora through John showing
Edinburgh University and founding Chairman of him a copy of W.B. Turrill's famous book The
the National Biodiversity Network Trust) was vegetation ofthe Balkan Peninsular! Sir John may
given in the last issue of BSBI News, but it had not have been somewhat peripheral to the day-to-day
been possible to produce a fuller appreciation of his operations of the BSBI, but his far-sighted vision
contribution in time for publication. The following and drive have meant that the Society indirectly
has been compiled from material provided by owes him a great debt of gratitude.
others in the production of fuller obituaries Elizabeth Norman, a member since 1965, was
published elsewhere. Members of the BSBI may mainly resident in London. Many BSBI members
have known of Sir John mostly as a referee for the who are also in the Wild Flower Society will have
genus Veronica, particularly for the water speed- known Elizabeth as the recent Editor of the Wild
wells. He had also briefly been a Recorder for Flower Magazine. With a keen interest and
Oxfordshire (v.c. 23) before his academic career experience in field identification, Elizabeth was a
took him elsewhere. His main taxonomic and good supporter of field meetings, and at the time
research interests lay with mycology and vegetation of the recording for the Sussex Plant Atlas (P.C.
studies, and for the latter he is well-remembered as Hall, 1980) Elizabeth and her family had a home
having steered the project to describe the Vegeta- at Southease in East Sussex. From there she
tion of Scotland (1964), still a seminal work in contributed many Sussex records, and since,
understanding the natural vegetation of Britain. supplied information particularly from her
But members may not have appreciated quite how detailed studies in the Ouse Valley.
influential he had been in so many other areas that It is also with much regret that we report the
have impinged on the work of the BSBI. He had following deaths since the last issue: Mr R.A.
played a vital role after his formal retirement as Boyd of New South Wales, Australia, a member
Edinburgh's Vice-Chancellor, as first Deputy and since 1950; Mr D.G. Evemy of London, a
then Acting Chairman of the former Nature member since 1980; Prof. R.E. Hughes of
Conservancy Council from 1987-1989, when the Bangor, a member since 1951, Mr G.G. Lilley
Government was in the process of breaking the of King's Lynn, a member since 1989 and Mr J.
organisation up. His interventions resulted in the Ounsted* of Fordingbridge, a member since
setting up of the Joint Nature Conservation 1947, John was particularly involved with Junior
Committee, and hence maintaining a country-wide Activities, Meetings, and leading meetings
oversight of conservation in the UK. Not content overseas for Junior Members.
Recorders and Recording 71


Panel of Referees and Specialists
MARY CLARE SHEAHAN, 61 Westmoreland Road, Barnes, London SW13 9RZ;
There have been more changes than usual this new referees this year: John Bailey (alien Persi-
year, and there are several changes of address, so caria and Fallopia), Luke Bristow (Aphanes),
please look carefully at the revised list in BSBI Yannis Christofides (plants of Cyprus), Aaron
Year Book 2008 before sending in specimens. Davis (Galanthus), Geoffrey Kitchener
We would particularly like to thank those who (ftpilobium and Rumex), Brian Mathew
are retiring: Ann Conolly (alien Fallopia and (Crocus), Tony O'Mahony (Apium and
Persicaria), Chris Cook (Sparganium) and Geranium robertianum agg.),John Parker
Jeffrey Wood (Orchidaceae general). (Hypochaeris), Ken Trewren (Dryopteris filix-
Some existing referees are taking on additional mas agg.), and Kevin Walker (Carduus and
taxa, and we are also glad to welcome several Cirsium).

Panel of Vice-county recorders

DAVID PEARMAN, Algiers, Feock, Truro, Cornwall, TR3 6RA; Te1: 01872 863388

New Recorders V.c. 99 (Dumbarton). Dr John Holland, 3

V.c. 36 (Herefs). Mr P. Gamer, Lea Cottage, Monemore, Killin, Perthshire, FK21 8XD.
233 West Malvern Rd, West Malvern, Miss A. Rutherford, recorder since 1987, re-
Worcs, WR14 4BE to be sole recorder. Mrs tires.
S. Thomson, recorder since 1976, retires. V.c. H35 (W. Donegal). Mr R. Sheppard be-
V.c. 43 (Rads). Miss E.R. Dean, Enmore comes sole Recorder following the appoint-
House, Croft Lane, Kings1and, Leominster, ment ofMr D. McNeill to v.c. H39.
Herefordshire, HR6 9PP & Mrs S.M. Spen- V.c. H39 (Co. Antrim). Mr D. McNeill, 13,
cer (all correspondence to Miss Dean). Dr Greystown Park, Belfast, BT9 6UN. Mr N.
D.R. Humphreys, recorder since 1988, retires. McKee, joint recorder since 2003, retires.
V.c. 65 (N.W. Yorks.). Mrs DJ. Millward, I would like to thank all those retiring for their
recorder since 1995, retires. sterling efforts over so many years.
V.c. 87 (W. Perth). Mrs Liz Lavery, Burach, Changes of Contact
Carnbo, Kinross, KY13 ONX & Mr Paul V.c. 88 (Mid-Perth). Mr A.C. Godfrey, 18, Is1a
Stan1ey (all correspondence to Mrs Lavery). Road, Luncarty, Perthshire, PHI 3HN, to be
Mr N.W. Tay10r, recorder since 1994, had the main contact, not Mr IW. McIntosh.
already retired.
V.c. 96 (Easterness). Ms Sarah Smyth, Ree1ig Changes of Address.
House, Kirkhill, Inverness N5 7PP, Mr A.M. V.c. H2 (N. Kerry). Dr M.B. Wyse Jackson to
Ross & Mr I Waddell (all correspondence to 40 Ballyroan Crescent, Rathfarnham, Dublin
Ms Smyth). Mrs M. Barron, recorder since 16, Ireland
1979, retires.
72 Notes from the Officers - Head of Research and Development


From the Head of Research and Development - KEVIN WALKER
97 Dragon Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HGl 5DG. Email:
Over the last decade improvements in how we 'widespread' BAP species are not entirely
coordinate and capture botanical data has understood either because the species are diffi-
enabled us to bring together unprecedented cult to record or because of confusion over their
quantities of data, which is allowing us to view taxonomy. A good example in northern
the distributions of our rarest species at ever England is Crepis mollis which appears to have
smaller scales. This is a milestone in British disappeared from many of its old haunts in the
natural history and will enable the BSBI to play Yorkshire Dales, the North Pennines and south-
a central role in reporting on the state of the ern Scotland. We also need much more infor-
British flora over the decades ahead. At the mation to understand the extent and reasons for
same time, increasing demand for high quality the loss of woodland plants such as Monotropa
data from conservation organisations and hypopitys and Ophrys insectifera in southern
government is requiring us to consider how to England and Wales. Existing BSBI data will be
best utilise, or add value to, these magnificent vital for the effective conservation of these
datasets. Two recent developments which are species as will more up to date information on
likely to have a major bearing on future record- their current distributions and abundance. In
ing are the revised Biodiversity Action Plan 2008 we are therefore proposing to initiate a
(BAP) list published in June 2007 and the Threatened Plants project (building on the
increasing aclmowledgement by Government Threatened Plants Database) in order to collate
of the need to monitor widespread 'indicator' existing data and carry out targeted survey and
species as well as those that are rare. These monitoring work on a sample of these species.
developments also raise important questions The overall aims will be to fill in the gaps in our
about what we record when faced with a 'rare' knowledge of the distributions these species as
plant population. All three developments are well as gain a greater understanding of their
interlinked and here I outline some of the ideas ecological and management requirements. We
and thoughts on how the BSBI's Plant Unit hope to run a pilot survey of a handful of
hopes to tackle them over the next few years. species starting in early summer 2008.
Threatened Plants Building on the results of Local Change
The new BAP list published in 2007 includes Local Change provided a unique assessment of
212 taxa (an increase of over 150 species). It the scale and nature of floristic changes at the
differed fundamentally from the original list in national scale between 1987 and 2004. As a
that the selection was based on threat rather surveillance project it compliments both
than rarity per se, and, as a consequence, it Countryside Survey (CS) - which focuses on
includes many 'widespread' taxa not covered in common species in small fixed plots in
depth by earlier works (e.g. Red Data, Nation- relatively ubiquitous habitats, and Plantlife's
ally Scarce). The New Atlas and to a lesser Common Plants Survey (CPS) - that focuses on
extent Local Change showed that many of 64 common species in small fixed plots
these species, notable examples including wherever they occur. However, by recording
Astragalus danicus, Gentianella germanica, change at a larger scale (i.e. within tetrads)
Scleranthus annuus and Stellaria palustris, Local Change provided valuable statistics for a
have declined dramatically over recent decades. much broader selection of species including
Many are county rarities that feature promi- relatively widespread but locally restricted
nently in County Rare Plant Registers and local (mid-frequency range) species that are not
floras. The reason for the decline of many other recorded at all in CS or CPS. In most cases
Notes from the Officers - Head of Research and Development I Coordinator's Corner 73

these are 'indicators' of good semi-natural site name combined with a 6-figure grid refer-
habitats that have declined dramatically in ence, and increasingly to 8-figures with the
recent decades. However, a number of limita- advent of cheap handheld GPS's. A good
tions in the approach were evident. These proportion of botanists are good at recording
included poor re-find rates for many species habitat details (although very few do this
linked to the lack of precision as to where the systematically with standard types such as
species had been recorded in the past, little Broad Habitats or NVC) and estimate popula-
information on the causes of change as habitat tion size (although this is often of little use
details were not recorded and the fact that without an indication of the extent of the
species tended to be lost at tetrad scale from the population). The more ecological minded
margins of their range, where they were scarce, might also put down slope, aspect and altitude
leaving us quite unsure how the same species and occasionally other physiognomic notes
were faring in the core parts of their range. One such as soil type, wetness, etc. Management is
way to overcome these short-comings and to rarely recorded despite the fact that this infor-
provide a more rigorous assessment of change mation (i.e. sheep in the field) can provide vital
would be to undertake a more detailed survey information on the history of a site. More
of a sample of populations of a selection of recently the advent of 'rare species' and
'indicator' species during the next Local 'condition monitoring' forms has led to notes
Change. For each species (carefully selected on whether a population is flowering, fruiting
from those recorded in 2003-04) we would aim or regenerating - a vital but often missing piece
to monitor a sample number of populations of information when assessing whether condi-
'nested' within the LC tetrads. These would tions on the site are suitable. In the past a multi-
then provide a permanent baseline from which tude of approaches have been used to gather
future changcs could be observed. Over the such information for rare species and over the
next few months we will be considering this coming year we will be considering how best to
and other methods as possible approaches to a standardise these approaches for future projects
national surveillance project for widespread such as CRPRs, Local Change and the next
'indicator' species. More work needs to be atlas. We will also be considering how best to
done, then, before launching such a project to organise the recording of rare species within a
the membership, but if anybody is interested in vice-county (i.e. systematically by lO-km, or
trialling ideas, please contact me site for a suite of species?)as well as novel
What to record? approaches such as 'null records', site
The decision over what to record when we abundance maps down to 100 m or even 10 m
discover the population of a rare plant is often and electronic storage of sketch maps which
arbitrary and largely left to personal preferenc- often include lots of useful additional that never
es. At the very least most recorders provide a make it onto recording sheets.

Coordinator's Corner
ALEX LOCKTON, 66 North Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SYl 21L;
The end of the decade is looming basis. For example, you should try to get a full
... and we're running short oftime to make field species list for all 10km squares at least once in
records in the current date class. A few years each decade - which is quite a practical period
ago we introduced a recording timescale based for botanical purposes, because there will be
on decades, rather than the haphazard date some detectable changes, and yet it means that
periods used in the past. From now on, all the average recorder only has to cover two or
botanical records need to be restricted to within three hectads each year.
a standard calendar decade, and we encourage This winter we are sending out checklists for
counties to organise their fieldwork on this county recorders to look over. These list every
74 Notes from the Officers Coordinator's Corner

species that has been recorded in each county not species protection per se, but it is impossi-
since 2000, and compares that list with the ones ble to directly monitor a habitat in a meaningful
from earlier date classes. For the Maps Scheme way, because there is nothing to count. So the
we will 'close' the current date class at the end next step is to work out which species are indic-
of 2009, and allow people a year or so after that ative of good quality habitat (the axiophytes)
to get their records to us. Then we will embark and count those. None ofthis is news to readers
on a cleaning up exercise to eradicate errors. of News, of course, but I thought it might be
Members who are not county recorders might interesting to report on how well it can work.
like to have a look at the Maps Scheme We went to one marshy grassland SSSI that is
( to check that generally considered to be drying out. But
enough recording is happening in their county. when we counted the number of wetland
Choose a common plant such as Plantago species present, we found that it had gone up.
lanceolata and see if it has been recorded in the Just by a few species, but defmitely an increase;
square where you live. If not, then perhaps you and not just this year - the wetland species have
could download a recording card and do your been increasing steadily. The evidence, there-
own survey. fore, showed that the site was indeed in favour-
Condition Assessment able condition, at least for its major habitat.
One of the most topical subjects at the moment Another site we went to was not a nature
is the concept of favourable condition. The reserve at all, but an ancient monument. Rather
statutory nature conservation agencies are surprisingly, it turned out to have more good
committed to getting 95% of SSSIs into a habitat indicator species than the SSSI. In fact,
favourable state by 2010, and other organisa- it turned out to be a much more valuable site for
tions such as the National Trust and Wildlife many reasons. It was not in such good condi-
Trusts have set their own condition assessments tion, although it still did fairly well because our
with similar objectives. survey was more thorough than previous ones.
Last year I started teaching a course on site There is a clear conflict of interest between its
assessment for the University of Birmingham, archaeological and ecological importance,
and I found it quite a challenge to find although this is probably not irreconcilable.
techniques to teach or references to give to the These are the sorts of things we are likely to
students. Ecologists have been searching for find out when we start assessing nature conser-
quantitative methods for decades, but there are vation empirically, and it is quite exciting.
very few that have been shown to work. Ahnost Which sites are actually the best? Which are
every university course for the last century or so improving and which are deteriorating? If one
has taught students how to set up a baseline site is, technically, better than another but is an
monitoring programme, but hardly anyone has example of a commoner habitat type, which is
ever repeated such an exercise, and on the few the more important? Where is it better to spend
occasions that this has been attempted the your money - on the sites in good condition, on
methodology has generally be found wanting. the ones in unfavourable condition, or on the
Now it is crunch time for the conservation ones that have the most potential for gain? It is
sector. People are asking for evidence, not just unlikely that we will be able to come up with a
an opinion, that a site is in favourable or simple formula that can always be applied, but
unfavourable condition. This is surely a good empirical evidence can give new insights and
thing, and long overdue. Unfortunately, there is provide methods of working. Most importantly,
still no method of assessment that has been you can set yourself an objective and later on
proven to work. find out whether you have achieved it or not.
The approach I've been using is to start with Developments like this could definitely change
the important habitat types, for which the nature conservation for the better.
Biodiversity Action Plan is not a bad source.
Conservation has to be primarily about habitats,
Home needed for BSBIjournals I Diary I Deadline for News 108 75

Good home needed for BSBI journals

Ro FITZGERALD, Beggars Roost, Lilstock, Bridgwater TA5 ISU
Tel: 01278 741519 email:
I have nearly a full run of Watsonia, up to Vol6 (1964-68) 6 parts complete
2002, and other bits, which need a good home. Vol7 (1969) Parts 1-3
Please contact me (details above) if you could Vol8 (1970) - Vol23 (2001) complete
use any of them Vol24 (2002) Parts 1-2

Watsonia Indexes to Watsonia 8, 11, 13, 15-22

VolII (1951-2) Parts I-IV BSBI Abstracts 12 (1982) - 29 (2001)
Vol4 (1957-61) 6 parts complete BSBI News Nearly complete: No 19 (1978)-
Vol5 (1961-63) Parts 1-4,6 No 91 (2002)

N.B. These dates are often supplementary to those in the 2007 Calendar in BSBI Year Book
2007 and include provisional dates of the BSBI's Permanent Working Committees.
30 Jan Records Committee, London 1 Mar Scottish Committee, Edinburgh
7 Feb Publications Committee, London 20 Mar Council Meeting, London
16 Feb Committee for Wales, Aberystwyth 16 Jul Executive Committee, London
27 Feb Executive Committee, London


should reach the Receivini: Editor before
March 1st

The General Editor Gwynn Ellis can be contacted by phone or fax on 029-2049-6042 or
The Receiving Editor Trevor James can be contacted by phone on 01462 742684 or email
All text and illustrations appearing in BSBI News and its Supplements are copyright and no
reproduction in any form may be made without written permission from the General Editor.
Offers and special terms apply only to members of the Society and copies are not available on
an exchange basis.
BSBI News (ISSN 0309-930X) is published by the Botanical Society of the British Isles.
Enquiries concerning the Society's activities and membership should be addressed to: The Hon.
General Secretary, clo Dept. of Botany, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London
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Treforest, Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan CF37 ISQ (Tel. 01443-400585; email:
PRESIDENT (to June 2008) Dr Richard Gornall
Biology Dept., University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH
Tel. 0116-252-3394;
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or Members List in Year Book 2007 / 2008) Tel. 02920496042;
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c/o Dept. of Botany, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7SBD
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Registered Charity Number: 212560

Melampodium montanum at Alverstoke (v.c. 11). Both photos Mike Houndsome © 2007 (see p. 31)

Hymenophyllum tunbrigense by River Eastern Cleddau, AUt Clyn-gwyn (v.c. 44).

Photo Kath Price © 2007. Winner of the 2007 BSBI Photographic Competition (see pp. 55 & 63)
C. tommasinianus x C. vernus

Crocus tommasinianus C. tommasinianus x C. vernus

All Bradford (v.c. 63). Photos Jesse Tregale © 2007 (see p. 38)