Monday, 28 March 2016

Records from Ramsey (VC31)

Martin Lovell has just forwarded a useful batch of records for the Ramsey area. Highlights include some well established stands of Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), a new tetrad and the first records for the hectad for over 30 years; a new location for Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis), which along with a recent record from Owen Mountford are the first of this garden escape since the 1970's; Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) in a copse off Hollow Lane, a new tetrad; and, Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna), Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor) and Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) from Bury Fen, all new hectad records.

Deadly Nightshade

Lungwort (photo by Kpjas, from Wikimedia Commons)

Lesser Periwinkle (photo by H. Zell, from Wikimedia Commons)

Friday, 25 March 2016

Drumsticks and Squills

I spent Good Friday in the sunshine of Wharfedale (VC64), primarily to have a look at snowdrops before they completely go over with the aim of finding some more locations for Hybrid Snowdrop (Galanthus x valentinei). This was achieved with ease, it really is very common and under-recorded, with some fine stands in and around Denton and in Ilkley cemetary. There were even a few double-flowered clumps. So that's another new hectad, and a dot for the BSBI Atlas 2020 project.

Heading down into Middleton, I was surprised to find a few plants of Drumstick Primrose (Primula denticulata) on some rough ground by a barn. They had not been planted and must have arisen from seeds or discarded plants spread with soil or spilt garden waste from a nearby garden. There was one pink flowered plant and two white flowered ones, and they looked like they had persisted for at least a couple of years.

Heading into Ilkley, on the way back to Ben Rhydding railway station, I took the opportunity to pop into the cemetery where I knew Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica) had been reported in the past. I found several fine stands with ease, naturalised over old graves and spreading in the adjacent grassland.

Monday, 7 March 2016

More Signs of Spring

Jonathan Shanklin has kindly sent another batch of records gathered on a Cambridge Bryology Group outing to Huntingdonshire. This time the group spent time in Stilton and Washingley. Given the focus of the trip was bryophytes and the limitations of the time of year, not a bad list was assembled and this included the second county record of Early Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus) naturalised from plantings along the footpath past the fish ponds at Washingley.

This species is past its best now but here is a photo taken a couple of weeks ago in Oulton churchyard (VC63).