Thursday, June 15, 2017

Another catch up with a surprise find

Since I last wrote...

A great day out with NRW and Welsh Water around the Grwyne Fawr Reservior to see the bog restoration work they are jointly doing there.

And we found some Cowberry in flower (not the surprise find though):
Cowberry, Llusen goch or Vaccinium vitis-idaea

And on a four 1km square recording walk we saw plenty of interesting plants including:
Leopard's-bane, Llysiau’r llewpart or Doronicum pardalianches

Not the surprise either - although it isn't that common in Brecknock. A garden escape that gets established, as here, in a hedge near Sennybridge.

Marsh Speedwell, Rhwyddlwyn culddail y gors or Veronica scutellata

Included because I don't think I have encountered this in Brecknock before - which is surprising and probably indicates I have missed it previously!

The BWT Biodiversity week events at Llangattock were a great success with many species recorded both for botany and also for other wildlife. We found a wide variety of plants including this in a neglected field with a past.
Weld, Melengu or Reseda luteola

But nobody was expecting to find this, known up to now in only three sites in Brecknock, right in the middle of a green track between two hedges quite near the village. (This is the surprise.)
Dwarf Elder, Danewort, Ysgawen Fair, or Sambucus ebulus

Mike Porter is checking his information about very old county records as he thinks there was a report from the 1700s of this plant "near Llangattock".

This picture is from another Brecknock site from an earlier year to show the flowers.

The name "Danewort" is preferable in my view - "Dwarf Elder" doesn't really fit such a vigorous plant. It is herbaceous unlike its cousin, Common Elder, but not really "dwarf".

According to Wikipedia (!):
"The name Danewort comes from the belief that it only grows on the sites of battles that involved the Danes. ... The plant's stems and leaves turn red in autumn and this may explain the link with blood."

And then, just before I went away for the break I am currently enjoying:

A great day out in Cwm Giedd near Ystradgynlais in the company of Chris and Sarah from the BWT office there.
Chris had yet to see Sundew in the wild so the high common duly obliged (in abundance):
Round-leaved Sundew, Gwlithlys or Drosera rotundifolia

Heath Bedstraw, Briwydd wen or Galium saxatile
(The opposite of a surprise but worth featuring.)

Mimulus or Monkeyflower, probably a hybrid of garden origin but far from any garden