Wednesday 8 June 2016


One of the top species we hope to monitor this year is Trollius europaeus, globeflower (cronell in Welsh). Trollius is listed on the Welsh Section 42 list (Section 42 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 lists species of principal importance for conservation of biological diversity in Wales). Trollius is not nationally scarce (it is widespread in northern England and Scotland) and is not red-listed, but it may still be declining.

Trollius likes wet environments, but is not so fussy about pH and nutrient status. However, it seems to be vulnerable to over-grazing, and although it is perennial it may not reproduce easily (it requires a specific fly to pollinate it, seedlings are vulnerable to slugs, and the seedbank is not long-lived. For more information see the BSBI Species Account.

Two weeks ago I visited two sites - firstly a river site with Lucia Ruffino, where we found one site on a small rocky island, and then two more smaller sites upstream. These rocky river sites must be protected from grazing, but they must also be vulnerable to winter floods... they must have deep roots to survive last year. But it is hard to see these small clumps as anything but a relict population. I would envision a scheme to collect seed and reestablish it in riverside pasture, but creating the right conditions for germination and survival would be challenging!
Trollius on a small island...
There are plenty more small riverside plants not far away along the Afon Conwy.

The next day I went out with some of the Merioneth Nats group, on the shores of Llyn Tegid, where we found a much larger population, with hundreds of plants flowering in lakeside woodland. This appears a much more sustainable population; I visited nearly 2km of lakeshore and there was one large population and several smaller outliers. It is hard to imagine it wouldn't be found on other sections of the lake shore.

Trollius widespread in lakeside woodland...
It would be really good to receive details of other populations of Trollius - to get an idea of the different populations in Wales, and how healthy they seem. Please do get in touch if you would be interested. I'll be visiting several sites (especially in North Wales - Caernarvonshire, Merionethshire, Denbighshire) over the next few months and if you'd like to join me just drop me an email!