Saturday, 1 February 2014

Snowdrop update

Galanthus 'S. Arnott'
Image: M. Crawley
Everyone is going snowdrop-crazy this spring. Is it the miserable weather that's making people keen to see plants coming into flower? Might it be an after-effect of BSBI's New Year Plant Hunt, which had people out plant-spotting in the middle of winter?

Fortunately for Galanthophiles, Mick Crawley is on hand to help. His Snowdrop Key is especially popular this year but Mick's name also appears at the end of this video to help people ID snowdrops - and this one - so it looks like the botanical video makers also relied on Mick's Key

Galanthus plicatus
Image: M. Crawley
So when I spotted this article in the Telegraph the other day, about the discovery of what we are told "appeared to be a previously unseen cultivar of G.xvalentinei, a hybrid between the two species G. nivalis and G. plicatus", it seemed a good idea to run it past the master.

Mick commented "It certainly looks like G. nivalis x plicatus" which was reassuring for journalist Leah Hyslop, who Tweeted "good to know!" 

Also note that her article says "appeared to be" and "if it is confirmed" - so a big BSBI thumbs-up to Leah for accurate reporting!

And Mick isn't BSBI's only eagle-eyed Galanthophile. Martin Rand, our Recorder for South Hants (VC11) got in touch to say "Galanthus nivalis x plicatus isn't new to Britain, or to science. It's quite frequently planted and can appear in churchyards, etc. However I've seen it this year in the drive to a country house where the two parents were planted some years ago, but I don't think the hybrid was planted. So this may be a natural hybrid population, which I've not ever consciously seen before". That's in bold because when as experienced a recorder as Martin sees something new, BSBI botanists prick up their ears!  

Passing on these little snippets to you has given me a perfect opportunity to post two more of Mick's snowdrop photos. Enjoy Galanthomania while it lasts. Soon it will be daffodil time and... oh, look who's done a Daffodil Key for us all to use this spring!