Sunday, June 02, 2024

Mid Year Catch Up

We have encountered Buck's-horn Plantain twice in the last few weeks, which rather contradicts the Stace distribution information: "mostly near sea ... inland in scattered lowland places mainly in England".

The first was at 260m near the Caban Coch Dam above the Elan Valley Centre.

Buck's-horn Plantain or Llyriad corn carw (Plantago coronopus) at Caban Coch

The next encounter was along the road across Llangynidr / Llangattock Mountains at nearly if not quite 500m.
As above - this time found by Anne and Joan

But note how hairy this one is. Stace is helpful here: "Variably hairy annual to perennial ...". We love and depend on Stace's "New Flora of the British Isles" - Fourth Edition and the remarks above should be taken in the spirit of a quest to update the knowledge for further editions...

The plant is now known along at least a mile - probably more - of that mountain road.

I spotted the next find when taking a short walk in Talgarth, there on the Ennig was a familiar Willow, or was it ? The look and feel was Bay Willow which we started getting to know at its few sites in the county last year. But this one has longer leaves than the descriptions and keys allow. The answer was in the book - it must be the hybrid with Crack Willow:

Shiny-leaved Willow (Salix x meyeriana or Salix pentandra x fragilis)

Confirmation was impeded by it being inaccessible for samples (that is a long telephoto picture) but on a later visit I found more of it downstream in an accessible place.

Also in Talgarth was this:

Dewberry or Mwyaren Fair (Rubus caesius)

One of the few members of the genus that ordinary mortals can name with some confidence. There is plenty of it about in Hay also.

It was nice to see this through the fence in an adjoining field at Craig y Nos on a quick visit:

Marsh-marigold or Gold y gors (Caltha palustris)

A new record for the 1km square with only one record in 1998 anywhere near.

And this (grown from seed last year) flowered:
Carline Thistle or Ysgallen Siarl (Carlina vulgaris)

Not that common and a shy flowerer. It only opens up fully in full sun and sulks when clouds come over...