Saturday, 12 December 2015

Huge Colony of Adder's-tongue

It is always nice to get a good batch of records through the post, and this week I received a valuable batch of monad records from Peter Walker. These included details of an exceptional population of Adder's-tongue (Ophioglossum vulgatum) at Little Less Wood (VC31), where it is estimated that the population stood at around 1000 in the plantation. Makes me want to go for a look next year. No photo unfortunately, but here is one from just over the county border at Ailsworth Heath, Castor Hanglands (VC32) - another good place to see this small fern.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Wester Flisk

It's the time of year when British botanists have to find other outlets, so I've been falling back on seed catalogues and gardening in recent weeks. One of the plants I want to try and establish from seed this year is Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus), one of the cultivars of which rang a few bells in the back of my head.

The Wester Flisk Group is notable for its red tinged petioles and stems and this reminded me of some striking plants found at Little Paxton Pits (VC31) in March 2009. These must surely be part of this group, if perhaps not the best examples of this seed strain. That said, I believe the weather can also impact the intensity of the red colouration. There are several naturalised colonies of this species in VC31, but I don't remember seeing any others of this group.

And in case like me you are wondering why the odd cultivar name - apparently its the name of the garden in Fife, Scotland where it was first found.