Thursday, 31 May 2012

Spignel in Merionethshire

I went  with Sarah Stille to monitor a population of Meum athamanticum - spignel. This site has been 
Flowering head with pink-tinged petals 

known for a while and the population seems to be growing happily around the margins of a field of fertilised and grazed grassland. Perhaps it favours the well-drained banks, or could it be that there is less nutrient enrichment around these margins (the farmer was spreading muck on the day that we visited, but little reached the Meum areas). The farmer thought we were a month early but there were plenty in flower at some patches - and even the vegetative plants were a distinctive yellowish green and easily distinguished from the grass. 

Looking at other photos on the web, however, I now wonder if these are rather small specimens - certainly compared to John Crellin's photos from Ben Lawers, on his site 

Sarah is also starting a blog to share her activities in Merionethshire (VC48). Last week there was a field trip to Cwm Hesgyn, which may have been relatively species-poor but still turned up some new species for the hectad. 
Dense flowering patches of Meum athamanticum
Another patch with few flowers (we should have gone later)

No comments:

Post a Comment