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Friday, June 08, 2018

Bits and bobs and some woodland scrambling

Over the Hay Festival I didn't do much formal recording but did note down significant plants and flowers I spotted while out on walks with family or even when walking between the festival site and home.

Alan Salter has been doing better than this though as voluntary warden of The Byddwn Nature Reserve near Brecon where he is gradually adding to the list we already have of plants that grow there.

One of his latest finds, not recorded for the area for 45 years, was this and the picture he sent shows very clearly that the defining three-nerved structure of the leaves is repeated on the sepals (the green parts behind the petals).
Three-nerved Sandwort, Tywodlys teirnerf or Moehringia trinervia (photo: Alan Salter)

This approach to recording is a good one. General recording goes through an area and passes on - sometimes we come back at another time of year but you cannot get absolutely everything at one or two visits.

I did follow up a report of Marsh Orchids giving a good display at Llangorse near the Bird Hide and enjoyed my visit to the meadows, picking up a few other species not recorded even when a whole bunch of botanists came for a meeting two years ago.

The orchids were very varied in character and I am loath to be too definitive yet on exactly which species they were but here is one with tentative identification:

Southern (?) Marsh-orchid, Tegeirian-y-gors gogleddol or Dactylorhiza praetermissa

Then our next "big outing" was to woodland near the Wye at Llyswen.

We refound Green Hellebore, last recorded many years ago, but failed to find another rarity that used to be there. There was plenty to enjoy and record though with few pictures being taken until the afternoon when we stopped for a break near a magnificent Oak Pollard we came across. By then two of our number had departed.

We also came across some small tree saplings that were probably we thought suckers and were just edging towards deciding they must be Aspen when we found the parent tree - quite a distance from the first sucker we saw. This is the principal way in which Aspen spreads I think.

A short discussion on the certainty of some leaves we found being Moschatel was cut short when we found a fruiting flower head that certainly confirmed it. (Three of the five flowers don't seem to have produced successful fruit.)
Moschatel fruits, Mwsglys or Adoxa moschatellina

And the Yellow Pimpernel patches were lovely:
Yellow Pimpernel, Gwlyddyn melyn Mair or Lysimachia nemorum

There were also carpets of Woodruff and near the end of our exploration we came upon this "Ferny Dell" that the photograph doesn't do full justice to.