Saturday, 10 September 2016

Rumex x knafii (Rumex conglomeratus Clustered Dock x R. maritimus Golden Dock) first record for Ireland.

 I was walking through a reed bed and stopped in my tracks and thought a new site for Golden Dock! The more I looked at it, I was not convinced it really was Golden Dock. Then I realised I had both parents growing very close by and in fact I was looking at the hybrid between Clustered Dock and Golden Dock. This is first time I have seen this hybrid since I saw it in Somerset in 1995. It is also the first record for Ireland. Above: whole plant. Below: close up of hybrid.
 The hybrid has some spines, but they are much shorter than those of Golden Dock.
 Above & below: the hybrid

 Above: the hybrid amongst the reeds
 Above: a dead Golden Dock amongst the reeds.
 I then looked in an adjoining field that had been sown with a mix of flax and oats. There was an abundance of Golden Dock (above), really living up to its name.
 In the above picture all the golden colour is Golden Dock, haven't seen this many Golden Docks in one location for a long time. Below: lots of Golden Dock in forefront off picture. Speaking to Roy Watson today, a local botanist, he says that when the drainage ditch was put through the marshy area Golden Dock came up in the 1000s.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Atriplex littoralis x Atriplex longipes new to Ireland

 Sometimes luck can be on your side when out plant recording. Only stopped at this site as I wanted to go to the bank in Wexford Town. As you can see in the above picture the beach is not very large. To find a new hybrid to Ireland was a big surprise as I stopped to look for other hybrid Atriplex.

Atriplex littoralis (Grass-leaved Orache) x Atriplex longipes (Long-stalked Orache) would seem to be a very rare hybrid as it is not mentioned in the 'New hybrid' book published last year. The only reference I have been able to find is a specimen in the herbarium at Manchester. The specimens house there are F1 synthesised hybrids by Pierre Taschereau. Could my plant be the first recorded from the wild? Photos were sent to John Akeroyd the BSBI Atriplex Referee who agreed with my ID. Will also send the specimen to John to take a look at.

This was a good place for Atriplex as there were four species: Atriplex glabriuscula (Babington's Orache); Atriplex littoralis (Grass-leaved Orache); Atriplex longipes (Long-stalked Orache); Atriplex prostrata (Spear-leaved Orache). Plus 3 hybrids: Atriplex x taschereaui (A. glabriuscula x longipes); Atriplex glabriuscula x prostrata; Atriplex littoralis x Atriplex longipes.
 Above picture showing hybrid Atriplex by yellow part of boat
 Above, closeup of the hybrid
 Above picture shows a bracteole with a long stalk inherited from A. longipes.
 Above picture showing a leafy bracteole, as often seen in A. longipes.
 Above picture showing two bracteoles with long stalks. Below picture showing the long linear leaves inherited from A. littoralis.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Lamprothamnium papulosum (Foxtail Stonewort) refound at Lady's Island Lake

 Frankie Tennant sent me these photos to ask me what it was. I could only tell him it was a Stonewort. It was growing in Lady's Island Lake. I asked Frankie if he could collect a little for me to send to Nick Stewart the BSBI Referee on Stoneworts. Between Frankie finding the Stonewort and going back to collect some, it had rained hard and the water level was much higher. Frankie had to just feel around in the water until he could find it again. Certainly worth the effort! Nick came back to us and said it was Lamprothamnium papulosum (Foxtail Stonewort). A species I have never seen. Looking on the BSBI DDb distribution maps I was very surprised at just how rare it is. In Ireland it is confined to the SE corner of Wexford. In the UK, only known from Dorest, Hampshire & Uist.

This is the first report from Lady's Island Lake since Nick saw it there in 1991.

The above photo is a habitat shot showing the Foxtail Stonewort growing with Ruppia (Tasselweed). Below are some photos showing what it looks like when taken out of the water.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Agrostis gigantea (Black Bent), rare arable weed in Wexford

 Popped up the road this morning to look at a grass which is an abundant weed in an arable field. As I expected it was Black Bent. This time of year it is easy to notice as it towers above the crop. This is a new site for Black Bent in the county.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Rosa x scabriuscula (Rosa canina x tomentosa)

 Always surprises me how you can keep walking past a plant without noticing it, must of walked by this hybrid rose at least 100 times over the last few years. One large bush growing in a roadside hedge at Bannow Bay. There are a few scattered sites for this hybrid in Co. Wexford. The interesting thing is that Rosa tomentosa has only been recorded 3 times in the county. Roger Maskew confirmed this hybrid for me, glad I got the ID correct.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Utricularia australis (Bladderwort) first county record since 1937

 Frankie Tennant asked me today to come over and look at a bladderwort for him, which he had found on South Slob. Looking at the glands in the spur this has to be Utricularia australis (Bladderwort), which was last reported from the county in 1937. It was common in the drains on the slobs.
 Above photo taken by Didier Paris. Top and bottom taken by me. All the brown you can see in the water in the below photo is the bladderwort.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Carex pallescens (Pale Sedge) first county record since 1944

 Paula O'Meara has found Pale Sedge along a path in a wood at Bregorteen. This is the first county record since 1944. The only other county record was from Stokestown by Miss E. Rawlins.
Paula's photos shows the crimping at the base of the bracts really well, the only sedge that does this.