Image: P. Stroh
This issue features ten papers, starting with a report by BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker on the lovely Snake's-head Fritillary Fritillaria meleagris. Kevin's blogpost about this iconic plant, as part of our Wildflower of the Month series during lockdown, proved very popular and in this new paper he analyses its occurrence in different habitats and discusses its claim to native status.
Next up we have a paper by Michael Braithwaite about the discovery of the local flora as reflected in BSBI vice-county datasets. Michael uses Berwickshire, where he was County Recorder for many years, as a case-study and his account makes fascinating reading for all botanical recorders in the run-up to publication in 2022 of our next plant distribution Atlas.
|Mayweeds on Orkney|
Image: J. Crossley
Also in this issue we have a report on Sea Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed and their puzzling intermediates in Orkney; and Mick Crawley considers the dramatic recent increase in abundance of Rat's-tail Fescue Vulpia myuros as a weed of winter wheat-fields - he reports on a long-term experiment at Silwood Park, Bucks. to discover what extent this increase is due to no-till cultivation, or to herbicide-resistance, or to autumn cultivation coupled with warmer winter weather.
Authors of BSBI Handbooks have been busy too: Mark Lynes describes three new species of Lady's-mantle Alchemilla from northern Britain, ahead of publication, probably next year, of his long-awaited Alchemilla Handbook; and three new species of Dandelion are described by John Richards in the run-up to publication of his new Field Handbook to British and Irish Dandelions, due out next month. BSBI members should watch out for the special members-only discount offers on both these books.
Image: T. Rich
Over to B&IB Editor-in-Chief Ian Denholm to tell us about the four remaining papers in this issue:
"Within the family Polygonaceae, Redshank Persicaria maculosa and Pale Persicaria P. lapathifolia are both common in Britain but subject to confusion through over-reliance on flower colour as a distinguishing feature. Michael Wilcox reviews contrasting taxonomic treatments and provides guidelines for rationalising considerable variation within the Pale Persicaria ‘complex’.
"Tim Rich continues his survey of the status of Britain’s Hawkweeds (genus Hieracium) with a report on Hepste Hawkweed H. apheles - an extremely rare endemic restricted to five plants in a single locality in the Brecon Beacons. This is one of several endemic taxa with a threat status of ‘critically endangered’ according to IUCN criteria, safeguarded to some extent by the deposition of seed in the Millennium Seed Bank.
"Finally, Clive Stace and Duilio Iamonico resolve issues of species typification within the genera Vulpia and Atriplex, respectively".
So, another jam-packed issue with something for everyone. British & Irish Botany is free to read (and free for authors to publish in) and there's no log in required - just head over here to start enjoying the latest issue and then why not browse our archive? We are now accepting submissions for the fourth and final issue of this third volume, due out in December - why not get in touch if you are thinking of contributing?