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Saturday, September 01, 2018

Round up

Two of us made the climb up to Llyn Cwm Lwch under Corn Ddu - well worth it for the lake itself.


The views were great as we climbed and we saw many birches - some if which I am sure are the Iberian Birch that has only been realised to be common in Wales in the last few decades.
Iberian White Birch or Betula celtiberica

The lake had some interesting species growing around it and masses of this growing in it.
Stonewort, Chara sp.

I think Chara vulgaris - Common Stonewort but I have sent a sample for checking. (Llys y Môr Cyffredin?)

We collected samples of Blinks which was common and this one flowered on my windowsill. Its seeds look to be Montia fontana subs. fontana. The tiny flowers are hardly ever this well open in the wild.
Blinks, Porpin y ffynnon or Montia fontana

The next outing was to the riverside and woodland at Abercraf, yielding a long list with many ferns. eg
Borrer's Male-fern or Dryopteris borreri (Dryopteris affinis subsp. borreri)

Then by the New River in Cheshunt, north of London I noticed a population of this which is also spreading along the Brecon Canal - obviously a favoured environment for the plant.
Bristly Oxtongue, Tafod-y-llew gwrychog or Helminthotheca echioides (Picris echioides) 

Several of spent a day helping Steph survey some fields near Allt Rhongyr that are of interest and we found a long list of plants including this which isn't seen at all often in Brecknock:
Small Toadflax, Trwyn-y-llo bach or Chaenorhinum minus 

The fungi were abundant andChris, who was with us, was able to name most of them.
Blusher or Amanita rubescens

I called in at Cae Egwys reserve on my way to an area near Upper Chapel and this new species for the reserve was flowering. This is the agricultural species of Flax and probably derives from that source but may establish at the reserve, you never know.
Flax, Llin or Linum usitatissimum

My recording near Upper Chapel included a stint on this old byway - now a bridle path.

Not a lot seems to be known about this, obviously once important, route. It starts at Sarnau near Llandefaelog and ends at the border of the Epynt Army Range. But old maps from before the range was there also show it going up to the uplands and stopping so the Range isn't the reason for the ending. In the distance can be seen Ffynnon-oer (Cold Spring?) and the road carrying on round the hill that has Gaer Fach at its summit. Further south the route passes by Battle Hill.
The old route passing Gaer Fach and Ffynnon-oer

This was one quite surprising find in the valley below the area shown above.
Wood Horsetail, Marchrawnen y coed or Equisetum sylvaticum 

And this was right where I parked the car.
Red Bartsia, Gorudd or Odontites vernus 

Then, helping Steph again with Local Wildlife Sites, we saw a wide variety of wet woodland pasture plants and other gems in open pasture near Llangammarch Wells
Rostkov's Eyebright, Effros blodau mawr or Euphrasia officinalis subsp. pratensis or Euphrasia rostkoviana

Fen Bedstraw, Briwydd y fign or Galium uliginosum
Most things weren't actually flowering though but quite identifiable.

Other botanical finds recently have included:
Green Spleenwort, Duegredynen werdd or Asplenium viride
Found by Anne at Craig y Cilau - first record for the area for quite a while.

Field Scabious, Clafrllys y maes or Knautia arvensis
Not common these days in Brecknock (and very like the commoner-for-us Small Scabious found at eg Allt Rhongyr). Steph found this on the Brecon canal bank.

And lastly an oddity. This turned out to simply be the common Figwort minus flower colouring - but for a while we thought possibly something more exciting.
Common Figwort, Gwrnerth or Scrophularia nodosa - not it's usual colour at all!