Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Getting pteridological

While an intrepid group of fern-studiers are getting ready for this weekend's Dryopteris workshop with Fred Rumsey, I was out hunting for a special little fern last week in Caernarvonshire (with Wendy and Mari). 
Polystichum lonchitis (Holly Fern)
There were some other interesting alpines around, including this: 
Oxyria digyna (Mountain Sorrel)

Friday, 9 September 2016

Orchids and more Eyebrights

After the Welsh AGM the next event on my Welsh calendar was the Caerdeon recording meeting over a weekend in Merionethshire. I was able to join for two full days although unfortunately not the final day, when I had hoped to join Martin Rand and others climbing up a mountain to look for Circaea alpina (Alpine Enchanter's-nightshade) and other treasures. In the event the weather was very poor anyway...

The real highlight of Caerdeon was the group who found Hammarbya paludosa (Bog Orchid) - as already reported in BSBI News and Views. 
Hammarbya paludosa (Bog Orchid) Photo: Sarah Stille
Back in the office in August, I heard about another exceptional find, of Pseudorchis albida (Small-white Orchid) in Radnorshire. Congratulations to the excellent finders of these two! You can read more about both these species in the BSBI Species Accounts. 
Pseudorchis albida (Small-White Orchid) Photo and record: Sorcha Lewis
Towards the end of August I spent a little while looking at more Euphrasias (Eyebrights), collecting specimens which I was able to take to the Recorders' Conference and Chris Metherell was able to confirm them. There was a full range, including E. arctica and E. nemorosa, and E. officinalis subsp. anglica and pratensis from a range of sites I've visited in the last few months. One specimen though seemed just too difficult and Chris took it away for further examination. However, I was glad to find I had correctly identified one or two of them myself using the keys (a preview of the new Euphrasia handbook which is awaited most eagerly)! For more reporting on Recorders' Conference please visit the BSBI News and Views blog. 
Chris Metherall describing various parts of Euphrasia (Eyebrights) at Recorders' Conference. Photo: Sue Townsend