2022 County Report for South Aberdeenshire

Ian Francis

2022 saw 25 botanists submitting c. 1,520 records of almost 400 taxa during the year. Highlights included the first records for VC92 of Berula erecta (Lesser Water-parsnip), near Alford, probably introduced, and Limosella aquatica (Mudwort) at Loch of Skene. Recording on Mar Lodge by Shaila Rao, Andrew Painting and Dan Watson produced interesting records, including three of Diphasiastrum issleri = D. complanatum × alpinum (Issler’s Clubmoss), Hieracium eximium (Hirsute hawkweed) and Veronica alpina (Alpine Speedwell). Eight under-recorded species of bramble were found by David Welch and David Elston (including Rubus fissus, R. laciniatus, and R. vestitus). Introduced or naturalised plants included Anne Burgess’s record of Lamium maculatum (Spotted Dead-nettle), only the fourth for VC92, and a very interesting re-find by Alison Peaker of Koenigia alpina (Alpine Knotweed) on shingles on the River Dee – known from very few places nationally. Finally, the drawdown of Loch of Skene SSSI revealed vast lawns of Eleocharis acicularis (Needle Spike-rush – see photo). The dense cover, at c.3 stems/sq.cm over c.3ha, was calculated by David Elston to total over one billion plants! This species is known from only five other sites in VC92.

Six visits as part of BSBI Scotland’s SHARPP survey found none of the target species despite six-figure grid references. Urban Flora recording in July jointly with the Botanical Society of Scotland, yielded records from four settlements - Aberdeen, Inverurie, Kingswells and Westhill. I thank Andy Amphlett and David Elston for their support and all who submitted records in 2022.