Tuesday, December 21, 2021

A welcome find

In October I received a report from Julie of Stag's-horn Clubmoss on Llangoed common. Several members of the recording group got there to check this out before I did and my group was initially dumbfounded to discover that we couldn't find it despite having good grid references. So after a while we decided to give up at one of the couple of  locations reported and set off for another only for Claire, who was leading, to call back that she had found it not 100m from where we had given up. Either the satellites were wonky that day or on the day of the earlier reports and we had been focussing too much on exact grid refs and managing to miss the populations while toing and froing!

Stag's-horn Clubmoss, Cnwp-fwsogl corn carw or Lycopodium clavatum
at Llangoed common

Never mind - once found and with our "eye's in" we established that the population was very large - certainly a more established and abundant population than had been found in such a habitat in this county for many years.

The common itself is a delight and very carefully managed - the Bracken control (which was active at the time of discovery) being very effective at creating conditions for the Clubmoss to thrive.

And on the opposite bank of the stream the grassland was home to many wonderful Waxcaps - it's a well we had Ray with us to name them all.

Scarlet waxcap or Hygrocybe coccinea at Llangoed common

Steph, who visited later on, found native White-clawed crayfish in the stream - adding to the good habitat rating for the area.

This picture alludes to our initial confusion!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Botany 2021 - part 2

The group have been very active in the latter part of the year, in many cases without my active participation.

On 25th June, we visited the Carex limosa site on the Vice County border previously discovered by Barry Stewart in 2001. This is at least 50km as the crow flies from the nearest other known sites near Swansea.

Bog-sedge or Hesgen eurwerdd, Carex limosa on a Peat bog on Llangattock Mountain

Needless the say the whole area was interesting and we also saw Cranberry in some profusion.

Cranberry or Llygaeren, Vaccinium oxycoccos in a flush near the Carex

The beginning of July saw a group of us undertake a couple of days botanising in the remote north-west of the county, staying at the hostel at Dolgoch. It was a very wet weekend but we were delighted to encounter a field high up under Craig Carreg-fan with abundant Viola lutea.

Mountain Pansy or Trilliw y mynydd, Viola lutea

We climbed up higher and this view back just shows (centre lowdown) the zigzag path through bracken by which we approached the rocks above.

The group excursion outside the county this year took us to Cors Fochno just inland at Borth to see the Irish Ladies Tresses that now have settled there. It was agreat day and we enjoyed the other bog plants as well.

Irish Lady's-tresses or Troellig Wyddelig, Spiranthes romanzoffiana at Cors Fochno

A few other highlights:

Lunch time at the edge of the Epynt

Blue Fleabane or Amrhydlwyd glas, Erigeron acris (Erigeron acer) on Gilwern Hill 
(Picture Anne Griffiths)

Yellow Bird's-nest or Cytwf, Hypopitys monotropa (Monotropa hypopitys) at Cwm Clydach
(Picture Anne Griffiths)

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Botany 2021 in Brecknock

The Botany Group has not been entirely inactive with a lot of individual work proceeding from early on (within guidelines) and more recently we have done some group surveys.

Here are a few highlights so far.

Primroses on the canal

Common Whitlowgrass, Llysiau’r-bystwn ar or Erophila verna was abundant around Brecon and Hay

We found Hay-scented Buckler-fern, Marchredynen bêr or Dryopteris aemula near the Pyrddin river

Bird's-nest Orchid, Tegeirian nyth aderyn or Neottia nidus-avis
found in some quantity near Builth by R Gibbins

A Hybrid Sedge, Carex x prolixa or Carex acuta x elata found in wet Alder wood.

Choke disease, Epichloe typhina (probably) on Poa in the same woodland.