2021 County Report for Mid Perthshire

Jim McIntosh & Alistair Godfrey

It has been a difficult year, with restrictions and illness affecting the County Recorders. No Perthshire Society of Natural Sciences field meetings were held. Despite all this, some 3,800 records have been added to the DDb for Mid-Perthshire, with some records still to digitise. We are particularly grateful for contributions from Les Tucker, Ian & Marion Moir, Faith Anstey, Ron & Lynette Youngman and another 17 botanists.

Four taxa were recorded completely new to the VC; two Dandelions, Taraxacum piceatum (Leaden-bracted Dandelion) and Taraxacum spiculatum (Sagittate-lobed Dandelion) and two neophytes: Saponaria officinalis (Soapwort) and Inula helenium (Elecampane).

Three Nationally Rare species and 23 Nationally Scarce taxa were recorded. Some of these as a result of trialling the Scottish HectAd Rare Plant Project in two hectads.  I had several great days in the field, searching for SHARP species all last seen more than 20 years ago in the hectad. The following were refound; Astragalus danicus (Purple Milk-vetch), Carex capillaris (Hair Sedge), Corallorhiza trifida (Coralroot), and Carex vaginata (Sheathed Sedge) and detailed records made. But even where the target species were not refound, in the case of Lycopodium annotinum (Interrupted Clubmoss) and Carex diandra (Lesser Tussock-sedge), the search took me into brilliant habitat which was usefully recorded - and that had been sadly missed for Atlas 2020.

Two mountains were thoroughly botanised – Schiehallion and Carn Gorm. On Schiehallion, several species were given detailed grid refs for the first time like Saxifraga hypnoides (Mossy Saxifrage) & Alchemilla wichurae (Rock Lady’s-mantle) and new altitudinal record for the British Isles were made for Montia fontana (Blinks) near its 1080m summit. Despite yet another search Carex rariflora (Mountain Bog-sedge) could not be refound near An Sgòrr, Carn Gorm - its only Perthshire site, where it was last seen in 1979.

Carn Gorm summit view looking south over Glen Lyon to Ben Lawers
Carn Gorm summit view looking south over Glen Lyon to Ben Lawers

Viola lutea (Mountain Pansy)

Viola lutea (Mountain Pansy) near the 1029m high summit of Carn Gorm (pictured above).

Carex rupestris (Rock Sedge)

A flowering spike of Carex rupestris at the edge of rock ledge on An Sgòrr, near Carn Gorm.

Rubus saxatilis (Stone Bramble)

Rubus saxatilis (Stone Bramble) on cliffs below the summit of Carn Gorm with extraordinarily long runners – some almost 3 metres – trailing over rock ledge and touching ground.