Tuesday 15 July 2014

Happy Easter (Ross)

Photographing the Scot's Lovage
Mary Dean from Edge Hill is having a busy botanical season! The other weekend, she was up in Scotland co-leading a two-day recording meeting in Easter Ross (VC106) and has very kindly sent us the gorgeous images on this page and this short report:  

"Dornoch Firth - Tain and Ardgay Areas (VC106), 5th to 6th July

"Brian Ballinger, VC 106 recorder, and Mary Dean led a two day recording meeting to the coastal areas on the south side of the Dornoch Firth. The weather for the first day, which covered the Tain coast and the open access part of Morrich More, was warm and sunny apart from two short showers. Our first find was a new site for Crassula tillaea (Mossy Stonecrop) on a gravelled path close to the car park.

Mary (on right) and fellow botanists check Carex recta
  in the BSBI's Sedge Handbook 
"One of Scotland’s coastal specialities, Ligusticum scoticum (Scot’s Lovage), was found growing in good quantity along the sea wall. Further along the coast on Morrich More, where part of the conifer plantation had been felled from the frontal dunes some years ago, we were delighted to see how well the flora had recovered and was forming a colourful carpet of both common and less common species, including Astralagus danicus (Purple Milk-vetch), Centaurium littorale (Seaside Centaury) and Goodyera repens (Creeping Lady's-tresses). The last named was growing out in the open, presumably surviving as a relict from the plantation. 

Corsican Mint
"The Sunday was a little cooler but mainly dry. We met on the Easter Ross Vice-County side of the river at Bonar Bridge to see Carex recta (Estuarine Sedge), which covers extensive areas on this estuary (Kyle of Sutherland). We explored a lovely patch of shingle alongside River Carron recording the find of the weekend, a small patch of a prostrate plant with tiny lilac flowers and a minty smell. It was Mentha requienii (Corsican Mint), probably a garden escape, and the first Vice-County record".

Thanks Mary! More reports of field meetings to follow in the next few days and apologies for a paucity of posts recently. My excuse? It's field season and there are plants out there - hope you are enjoying what's growing in your VC. If you find something you can't identify, you could try this or this or send it to us here

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