Saturday, August 24, 2019

Out on their own

My botany group are getting much more confident in their plant identification and have started to go out on their own making records for Brecknock.

Some are very intrepid and endure all kinds of bad weather to get their records, so this blog starts with things I wasn't present for.

The area around Neuadd Reservoir (south of Pen y Fan) is relatively unrecorded for the BSBI. So Anne and others set of up there on a pre-arranged day - the forecast did not put them off! (But they were prudent in their preparations and plans of course.)

So the pictures are rather - dull...
And lunch was best taken standing up.
Making the records was difficult in the wet.
This sample was brought back just to make sure - which is just as well as it is the first ever record for the whole 10km square:
Lesser Skullcap, Cycyllog bach or Scutellaria minor
Here from a nicer day somewhere else:

It was only the second time this century that this has been found in the 10km square:
Marsh Lousewort, Melog y waun or Pedicularis palustris
Other great finds - with "library" images:
- again only the second record this century.
Common Fleabane, Cedowydd or Pulicaria dysenterica
- also only the second record this century.

And explorations along the canal near Llangattock turned up this rarity:
Narrow-leaved Water-plantain, Llyriad-y-dŵr culddail or Alisma lanceolatum

Sue has been recording an ancient lane near her and finding a rich and varied list including:
Fringecups, Clychau’r clawdd or Tellima grandiflora

Meanwhile I was out doing general recording and the like with a few highlights:
Pepper-saxifrage, Ffenigl yr hwch or Silaum silaus
(rather rare) at Llangorse lake meadows.

Finding this which we don't often see:
 Pale Persicaria, Canwraidd y dom or Persicaria lapathifolia
picture Anne Griffiths

 And a valley with a lot of
Carline Thistle, Ysgallen Siarl or Carlina vulgaris

And a tiny:
 Devil's-bit Scabious, Tamaid y cythraul or Succisa pratensis
near a base-rich spring flush and just managing to get a flower out before the sheep notice.

Then last Sunday on a walk I spotted:
 Tasteless Water-pepper, Y dinboeth ddi-flas or Persicaria mitis 
Not recorded much in Wales apart from the Snowdonia park and Monmouthshire. This is the first record we have in our county since one other in 1927 near Coelbren. I was lucky here as there is plenty of the common (Bitter) Water-pepper around and the plant I first saw was quite prominent. But not to be found two days later when I found the one I photographed above. Three more days later it was much harder to discern the P. mitis plants and I doubt I would have spotted them then if not sure they were there. It develops rapidly and changes from day to day!

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