2021 County Report for South Ebudes

Simon Smart and Malcolm Ogilvie

A quiet year but with one excellent find, of a colony of 14 flowering spikes of Spiranthes romanzoffiana (Irish Lady's-tresses) discovered by an island-based botanical surveyor scattered along  about 1 km of the central grass strip of a stony farm track. Although reasonably plentiful on Colonsay, there are only three previous records on Islay, of 1, 2 and 1 spikes. The habitat seemed unusually dry but the plants were doing well.

Malcolm’s annual orchid monitoring on Islay had mixed results, with more Plantanthera chlorantha (Greater Butterfly-orchid) at two regularly monitored sites. 297 (117) and 125 (60), 2020 totals in parentheses) but it was a poor year for P. bifolia (Lesser Butterfly-orchid). The 218 flowering spikes of Epipactis palustris (Marsh Helleborine) at their main site were little different from the 224 seen in 2020.

Simon was on Jura in June completing the three Countryside Survey squares on the island and recording as he meandered west and south. Despite exhaustively recording the diverse monad containing Craighouse in the last few years, he noticed a new location for Saxifraga × urbium (S. spathularis × umbrosa) growing on a shaded rocky ditch bank near to the hotel. The first record for Jura as an unplanted casual. Another notable find on Jura during the year was Orobanche alba (Thyme Broomrape), spotted by Fiona Cameron north of Inver Cottage.