Friday, March 30, 2018

Cold, Wet and Snowy but Worth It

Even though we failed to find any Hutchinsia our visit to the Llangattock Escarpment and Craig y Cilau Reserve yesterday was well worth it.

What we didn't find:
Hutchinsia, Beryn y graig or Hornungia petraea

This was known as Hutchinsia petraea but, unusually, has been given a "Common Name" to preserve the older Latin species designation which honours the first Irish woman botanist. Of course it isn't really a common name and it's not a very common plant.

And difficult to spot - thank goodness the intrepid bryophyte hunters of South Wales have recorded it for me - but I do want to see it in Brecknock for myself one day...

What we did find:
Rue-leaved Saxifrage, Tormaen tribys or Saxifraga tridactylites
(Photo Anne Griffiths)

I had in fact seen this further west in the reserve in 2014 so we have now confirmed it for three monads in the area as we saw it in two squares yesterday. I'm slightly surprised to be the first recorder for this since my colleague, Mike, recorded it there in 1998!

Colt's-foot, Carn yr ebol or Tussilago farfara
Just coming into flower near Eglwys Faen.

And above the cave entrance we found Mistletoe which I thought rather remarkable but it was only on checking the BSBI database on return that I found this is a first record for the reserve and may be the highest altitude at which this plant has yet been recorded in the UK.

Mistletoe, Uchelwydd or Viscum album on Hawthorn
 at about 380m altitude
By the time we returned to our cars it was snowing...