Sunday, 9 April 2017


Passing through Methley churchyard (VC63) yesterday a blaze of gold caught my eye. Most of it was attributable to Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna), an impressive swathe nonetheless. But on closer inspection another plant came into focus and I realised there was also a fairly large stand of Goldilocks (Ranunculus auricomus) mixed in.

This seems to be a fairly uncommon plant locally, with this being a new hectad. This was a particularly fine form with large fully formed flowers, unlikely the form in VC31 where there are normally petals missing from newly opened flowers. This species is one of the last apomictic species groups in the British flora to be investigated critically, and at present it is very poorly known with no available reference to help untangle the diversity.

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