Plants in Vice-county 104: A Review of Jul - Dec 2021
Over 110 new hectad records were made in VC104 in the second half of 2021. So far, over eight thousand 2021 records have been transferred to the DDb. There are more, perhaps 2000, monad records of common plants that are not new at the tetrad level still to be added at the time of writing, following a change of heart as to what to add to the DDb. Additionally, there are many thousands of such records from 2020 to add.
Skye Botany Group (SBG) has started a project with the Darwin Tree of Life project. Concerning Polypodium (Polypodies) and Ophioglossum (Adder’s-tongues). It is hoped to involve Skye folks more widely, to map P. interjectum and P. vulgare, and to see whether we can find Polypodium x mantoniae (P. interjectum x vulgare). It would also be nice to find Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder's-tongue) north of Portree on Skye (it is north of that on Raasay and Rona) and to find further Skye sites for Ophioglossum azoricum (Small Adder's-tongue) on Skye, given that it is quite frequent on Raasay.
SBG was also further involved in BSBI’s SHARP Project, searching for notable Scottish plant species in 10 km squares where they have not been recorded since 2000. We had mixed success, re-finding old sites for e.g. Potamogeton berchtoldii (Small Pondweed), Carex arenaria (Sand Sedge), Vicia orobus (Wood Bitter-vetch) and Gentianella campestris (Field Gentian), but not e.g. Pseudorchis albida (Small-white Orchid) or Potamogeton epihydrus (American Pondweed). It is intended to continue with this project in 2022.
Members of SBG also surveyed Portree for the Urban Flora of Scotland project which resulted in a number of additions to the VC104 plant list.
In total 18 additions have been made this year, mostly garden escapes/throw-outs or planted in the wild, but including the native Logfia (previously Filago) minima (Small Cudweed). An exhibit for the Scottish Botanists’ Conference in November about plants new to vice-county 104 in 2021 showed fourteen of the sixteen new taxa recorded by then (subspecies were omitted). The species listed as Rosa glauca (Red-leaved Rose) should now be called R. ferruginea (Red-leaved Rose).
Hieracium (Hawkweed) collection and determination continued into the second half with a total of 32 specimens determined for the year. Highlights included H. subrude (Tain Hawkweed) at Uig for which there were only pre-2000 records from two sites. H. beebyanum (Beeby’s Hawkweed) above Glen Hinnisdal, H. strictiforme (Strict Hawkweed) near Flodigarry and H. subcrocatum (Dark-styled Hawkweed) at Bernisdale were only the second post-1999 records in the vice-county. Hieracium grampianum (Grampian Hawkweed) from Coire na Creiche on Skye, appeared initially to be a first for VC104, but a deeper look at the database showed that a 1979 record from Braes had been marked as rejected because “it is outside the known range”. This has been changed. In total, there were thirteen new hectad records for Hieracium species in 2021.
Cotoneasters in the C. bullatus/rehderi group have been studied and it appears that all VC104 plants examined are the former, based on petiole length, leaf size (both length and width) and pubescence. However, the fruit size is larger than that given in many reference works for C. bullatus, and actually, in the range given for C. rehderi.
Stephen J Bungard
5th January 2021
Skye Botany Group
Skye Botany Group organises about six field trips per year from May to September. Everyone is welcome. For more information please contact Stephen Bungard.
- Plants in Vice-County 104: A Review of January - June 2021
- VC104 six-monthly reports: 2016 - 2020
- VC104 six-monthly reports: 2006 - 2015
Flora of Skye
For photographs of the plants of Skye, visit Carl Farmer’s fine web site Skye Flora.