2021 County Report for South Somerset

Stephen Parker, Simon Leach

During the early part of 2021 the Somerset Rare Plants Group organised a Mistletoe survey, this was very popular with members and generated many records. Members were asked to collect data on host trees and abundance of mistletoe. The SRPG also encourage members to search for a selection of somewhat under recorded species such as Anemone nemorosa and Oxalis acetosella.  Most records collected during the year were collected by botanists working independently of in small groups.

Equisetum variegatum was found by James McGill and confirmed by Pat Acock and deposited in TTN, first record VC5 and second Somerset. Graham Lavender has been researching Dryopteris on and around Exmoor and has generated many new records. Our knowledge of some of the problematic D. affinis group spp has increased hugely thanks to this work: D. cambrensis and D. paleaceolobata, especially.

There is continuing interest in recording Dandelions with Graham Lavender. Simon Leach and Jeanne Webb and others actively recording this complex group.  With 57 new hectad records. Ten taxa new to VC5 and also new to Somerset as a whole, Graham's records of Taraxacum subnaevosum, T. spiculatum and T. inopinatum the first two being more northerly and westerly spp, the third a plant that's frequent in S. Wales but much less so in SW England. Jeanne Webb records included T. wallonicum and T. lambinonii.  Simon Leach recorded T. lambinonii and T. speciosiflorum. The T. lambinonii is the outstanding find of the year, being the first for GB, and Jeanne's being the second!