Plants in Vice-County 104: A Review of July-December 2016
Skye Botany Group met three times visiting Raasay, Eynort and Glen Sligachan where we found a single plant of Eriocaulon aquaticum (Pipewort) in the River Sligachan. Whilst there is plenty about in nearby lochans, this is the first time actually in a river. The Inverness Botany Group also visited Skye and Raasay.
Records were made in the last tetrad in VC 104 with 100% land and no records ever. There are still four tetrads with 20 -80% land and no records, mostly quite difficult to get to, plus more with <7% land, and then there are tetrads with earlier records but none since 1999 or earlier (nine with 100% land and five more with >20% land).
About 12,000 records were made in VC104 in 2016. As ever, many thanks to all, too many to mention individually, who have contributed this year.
Mentha x piperita (Peppermint (M. aquatica x spicata)) was recorded from a roadside. There are only a few VC 104 records for this hybrid, though it may have been overlooked.
The putative Huperzia selago subsp. arctica near Sligachan is now thought to be a hybrid, probably of this and Huperzia selago subsp. selago. This is the current view of all such Scottish specimens except some from Shetland that may be pure subsp. arctica.
The odd-looking Lycopodium plants in the Kyleakin Hills that looked close to Lycopodium lagopus (One-cone Clubmoss) are probably just environmentally stressed Lycopodium clavatum, though the taxonomy of these taxa remains in flux.
Diphasiastrum alpinum (Alpine Clubmoss) was recorded from an altitude of just 92m, which is about the lowest ever recorded in the British Isles.
The pavements of Portree yielded Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and Garden Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana), both second records for Skye.
Site Condition Monitoring of vascular plants in the Raasay SSSI was undertaken. The target species were Arabidopsis petraea (Northern Rock-cress), Dryas octopetala (Mountain Avens), Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine), Potamogeton filiformis (Slender-leaved Pondweed), Pyrola rotundifolia (Round-leaved Wintergreen) and Sorbus rupicola (Rock Whitebeam). Overall these species were found to be doing pretty well.
Two new sites were found for Trichophorum x foersteri, the hybrid between Trichophorum germanicum (Deergrass) and Trichophorum cespitosum (Northern Deergrass). (Two new sites were also added on Skye.)
Stephen J Bungard
Ceol-na-Mara, West Suisnish, Isle of Raasay, by Kyle, IV40 8NX
mobile on meeting days: 07549 184831
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>> List of axiophytes in v.c. 104 (xlsx file) more about axiophytes...
Flora of Skye
For photographs of the plants of Skye, visit Carl Farmer’s fine web site Skye Flora.
>> Ten years of reports: 2006 - 2015.
The Botanist in Skye and Adjacent Islands
by C.W. Murray H.J.B. Birks, Prabost and Bergen 2005 ISBN: 0-9548971-0-2
Available at £10 (Postage and packing extra). Email me for details.