Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Northants. botanists find some locally rare plants

Tony, Martin & Rob out botanising
Image: B. Laney
Brian Laney has sent this report of a meeting held in Northants last month, where he, Tony Hopcraft, Martin Atkins and County Recorder Rob Wilson visited two nice sites. 

Brian says: "First stop was Everdon Stubbs which is classed as ancient woodland. Many plants were recorded to update the records and species seen included: Lamiastrum galeobdolon (Yellow Archangel), Oxalis acetosella (Wood-sorrel), Silene dioica (Red Campion), Ribes rubrum (Red Currant), Ranunculus auricomus (Goldilocks Buttercup) and Galeopsis tetrahit (Common Hemp-nettle). The wood has a fine display of the native Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Bluebell).

"Two target species of which records were needing updates was for Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Daffodil / Wild Daffodil) and Sedum telephium (Orpine) both of which are Northamptonshire Rare Plant Register species. 
Orpine Sedum telephium
Image: B. Laney

"The great news is - we located both species on the day. About three clumps of the orpine were seen not far from the parking area on the road side embankment, of course not in flower at the time of the meeting. The wild daffodil on the other hand was well gone over and was located in just one small area of the wood (image on left).

"Mantles Heath is also ancient woodland and again had some interesting records. One surprise was seeing a large bush of Philadelphus coronarius (Mock-orange) on the wood edge bordering the road and it did not look planted this time around. Adoxa moschatellina (Moschatel) was noted in a number of places while Ranunculus auricomus (Goldilocks Buttercup) and Lysimachia nemorum (Yellow Pimpernel) were also recorded.

Clumps of Orpine on the road verge
Image: B. Laney
"One nice surprise was Chrysosplenium oppositifolium (Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage) which for us in Northamptonshire is still classed as rare as mentioned in the Flora of Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough (Gent/Wilson 2012). It was found growing on the embankments of a small stream near the wood edge bordering the golf course. There are records for Vicia sylvatica (Wood Vetch) from Mantles Heath as recorded by myself in the noughties, but the small clearing where it once grew is now sadly chocked up with brambles and no Wood Vetch was located.

Seedling of  Shepherd's Needle
Image: B. Laney
"After the meeting in the pouring rain I went to check the edges of a couple of bean crops near Boddington Reservoir to see if I could re-find Scandix pecten-veneris (Shepherd's-needle) of which the last record was mine back in 2005. There are only two other current sites in Northamptonshire for this species. To my sheer delight I saw at least 18 seedlings, which is brilliant news".

Shepherd's Needle is a really nice record, and the meeting sounds fun (weather notwithstanding), but it's a shame if Vicia sylvatica has been lost from the site. 

Want to send us a report of any recording that you are doing on your home patch?