Sunday 4 August 2013

Botanising in the Outer Hebrides: Part Five

Juncus balticus on a roadside
Image: L. Marsh
This summer's Hebridean recording work is drawing to a close and there have been some great successes, both botanically and in the contacts we have made. 

The VC Recorder for the Outer Hebrides, Paul Smith, is very pleased at some of the records we are getting and the members of the survey team - some of whom travelled quite a distance to get up here - are delighted that they have been able to make a contribution to this year's recording programme. 

Platanthera bifolia on South Uist
Photo: Laura Gravestock

We think we have found some pretty impressive plants, although specimens still need to be checked by our referees before the records can be confirmed. But Paul is confident that our finds include the following delights:

Deschampsia setacea on the edge of a lochan;
Platanthera bifolia in a marsh;
Potamogeton epihydrus and Najas flexilis in various lochs; and 
Juncus balticus on a roadside.

Take a look at the distribution maps here to see why we were so pleased to see these species - just type in the name of each species to see when and where it has been recorded. 
We have all had a chance to see and photograph plants we had never seen before, and learn how to identify them. That is one of the main reasons we all come up here each summer - but the great company, delicious dinners and fabulous views are also great incentives!

The image on the left shows the Recording Team, and some of the South Uist botanists we met, smiling at how keen Laura (from VC20 Hertfordshire) was to photograph those Hebridean aquatics. 

Well, could you resist a lochan like this?

And here is what Laura was so keen to photograph...
click on the image to see it full size - can you see what that plant is? 

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