Saturday, June 08, 2013

Searching high and low

A good week of ideal botanical weather. For the walk at Darren Fawr Steph and I were joined by Paul Green (BSBI Welsh officer) and Mike Porter for what turned out to be a very enjoyable walk and also a great educational day for the two less-experienced of us. So many more records were noted by me for two one kilometre squares than would otherwise have been.

An example was a patch of Trifolium micranthum (Slender Trefoil) spotted by Paul - who was able to point out the rather deeper yellow colour compared to the common Lesser Trefoil and the small notches on the standard of the flower.

(This picture of Slender Trefoil wasn't taken last week...)

We were hoping to see some of the rare Whitebeams up there but missed those - however we did find the one site in Breconshire for Rigid Buckler-fern, Dryopteris submontana, a close relative of the woodland Male-fern.
Paul Green with Dryopteris submontana

This fern is covered with tiny glands on both leaf surfaces

Then yesterday I visited a very wet meadow in the Ewood area where one of my recording group has found Globeflowers and other interesting plants such as American Skunk-cabbage, Lysichiton americanus:

Not from yesterday as it was past flowering

Globeflowers near Erwood

Much of this meadow was dominated by Oenanthe crocata, Hemlock Water-dropwort which must make quite a sight when it comes into flower. I've never seen so much in one place.

Hemlock Water-dropwort in Somerset

Earlier in the week I was on a much needed grass identification course courtesy of BIS. A very valuable two days for me with excellent instruction from Sarah Watson-Jones. While looking at meadow grasses in Craig-y-nos country park we encountered this Marsh-orchid:

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