Friday, January 03, 2014

Mistletoe etc

New Year, New (botanical) resolutions. But most of them involve me, a computer and some database analysis. However there are things to get out and observe even now.

It's a good time to look for Mistletoe and there is plenty to see in the Brecknockshire area.

This is from Little Mountain, just in Herefordshire but near Hay

One parameter I have been remiss in recording up to now is the host tree for this plant. Stace lists Malus (Apple), Tilia (Lime), Crataegus (Hawthorn) and Populus (Poplar) as "common" hosts. But there are others. Oak was mentioned by Archie Miles, talking about his new book "The British Oak" at the Hay Winter Festival. He hasn't seen Mistletoe on Oak in the area for some time. Now there's a challenge... The Rev C A Johns in "Flowers of the Field" describes Mistletoe on Oak as "exceedingly rare".

Paul Green has spotted it on Ash on the road from Glasbury to Hay (at The Sheephouse) so I now also notice this every time I pass. There is also some on Hawthorn at the Warren in Hay. But my perception is that the common roadside occurrences are on Lime, Apple and Poplar. I'll see if anything can be done to extent the list of hosts for Brecknockshire this year.

The flowers are not very significant...

As my regular followers will maybe already know, I take my car to Builth for servicing and walk while it's being done. Yesterday was MOT time so I took a short walk along the Wye. The tree avenue along there is clearly worth a serious recording session - even if they are planted - as there is a great variety of species and some lovely mature specimens. A little later in the year I think this is a good prospect for a meeting. (It's a little early yet for my tree recognition skills - especially with the river so high and restricting access to look at twigs in many cases.)

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