Friday, January 05, 2018

New Year Plant Hunt 2018

What a way to start our botanical year! Crickhowell proved to be a good choice of venue for this year's hunt and we found 53 plants in flower which could reasonably be said to be wild-growing.

Lesser Celandine or Llygad Ebrill, Ficaria verna subsp. fertilis (Ranunculus ficaria subsp. ficaria)

We set off in the right direction, it turned out, going east from the car park and rapidly collecting many records as we passed the allotments and went out onto the A40 towards the edge of the county. This is clearly the route that adventurous plants are taking into Brecknock.

Common Fumitory or Mwg-y-ddaear cyffredin, Fumaria officinalis

After a good lunch at the Bear we agreed to finish our three hour search, significantly increasing our total, but finds were much more sparse going west. It was also much windier so we were relieved to get back to our cars when time was up.

We saw plenty of Geranium robertianum all the way around Crickhowell but it was by the car park entrance that Anne finally spotted a flower  - making the last addition to our total of 53 flowering plants seen.
Musk-mallow, Hocysen fwsg or Malva moschata

In fact everyone tried very hard - we had to examine our specimen of Knotgrass pretty closely to find one tiny flower and many other plants had a profusion of leaves but only one tiny flower.

This grass had me stumped - it's a new entrant to the county - via Cardiff Docks and Monmouth...

Water Bent, Barfwellt y dŵr or Polypogon viridis

(picture by Sue)

We never saw a single Holly flower (too early) or Ivy (too late) and, if the Box in the churchyard had managed to open one of its prolific buds I would have had a dilemma whether to record it - probably not as certainly not native and almost certainly planted.

Oxford Ragwort, or Creulys Rhydychen, Senecio squalidus

Garden Pansy, Trilliw’r gerddi or Viola x wittrockiana

There was little rain but a lovely rainbow.