Friday, May 03, 2013

Builth, Cwmdu and Gilfach

It took a few minutes for me to realise what I had encountered here on the Brecon bank of the Wye at Builth Wells on Monday:

But Black Poplar emerged as the answer eventually. I reasoned from the available evidence that this is a true native Populus nigra subsp. betulifolia so it was encouraging to find that Mike Porter has already determined it as such !

A grand tree anyway:

Then Sue and Joan came along to Paramor orchard near Cwmdu to explore the habitat and we were rewarded with a sight of the two "Dog-violets" both flowering in the copse.

A topical lesson then
Viola riviniana, Common Dog-violet with lighter spur (and notched) and just visible behind, substantial "sepal appendages" as Stace has it. (That is bits of sepal growing backwards - does that help?).
And Viola Reichenbachiana, Early Dog-violet with a darker spur (still a little notched - that isn't a very reliable character ?) and minimal "sepal appendages".

Hope that helps !

And yesterday I was at Gilfach for a joint Radnor / Brecon Roadside Verge scheme day. A great location in great weather and, thanks to the recent weather plenty of rather young conundrums to determine around the site.

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