Saturday, October 14, 2023

Small-flowered Catchfly

 Not recorded since 1950 but seen last week by Ray Woods at the edges of a Swede field.

Small-flowered Catchfly, Gludlys amryliw, Silene gallica

So the history in the county goes: “Pen y lan, near Brecon” by Miss Bird in 1809, J A Wade (NMW), no date given but between 1930 and 1950 and now this. The species is in decline in the country - as an arable weed but thisfinding suggests there may be a long-lived seed bank.

Sunday, October 01, 2023

The Molinia Horribleness scale

 No exciting finds this week for the group (but a member, Anne found a Musk Thistle on the Usk):

Carduus nutans, Musk Thistle

The main group outing though always looked like a rather dim hope of great finds but at least we got some records for an unrecorded tetrad.

The outward walk was very hard going in boggy tussocky Molinia caerulea, Purple Moor-grass which I decided was at least an 8 on the Molinia horribleness scale* which I had just thought up.

And no rewards of any note for peering into the boggier bits with only a few records on the whole outward journey. We got far enough to see more promising land a further kilometre away but decided we had to turn back. 

We did agree to do a different route which we thought, from our observations coming along, might not be so bad - and it wasn't (7 maybe). Crucially though we did on that route find some "better" plants. (Apologies to Soft-rush, Foxglove and Heath Bedstraw - we do appreciate you really!)

Marsh Pennywort and Lady's Smock among other rather "better" finds.

The view from as far as we got.

* It goes up to 11...