2022 County Report for Stirlingshire

Phil Sansum & Matt Harding

2022 was a productive year, with over 14,000 records made in VC86 – a huge thank you to all contributors, particularly Keith Watson, who submitted c. 3,000 records from East Dunbartonshire, and Sarah Longrigg, who made interesting new records and re-finds.

During fieldwork for the upcoming Rare Plant Register, over a third of all locally or nationally important species known from VC86 were re-recorded, along with many new additions to the vice-county flora. Highlights included Teesdalia nudicaulis (Shepherd’s-cress) and Trifolium striatum (Knotted Clover), both unrecorded for over 50 years, and an excursion to the Haughs of Airth by the nascent Stirlingshire Botany Group discovered Lactuca virosa (Great Lettuce), last seen in Stirlingshire in the 1800s.

On Ben Lomond, Draba incana (Hoary Whitlowgrass) was re-found where last recorded in 1968, and Euphrasia frigida (Upland Eyebright) and E. ostenfeldii (Ostenfeld’s Eyebright) were identified for the first time.

Filago germanica (Common Cudweed) was discovered by the Falkirk Wheel, and Plantago coronopus (Buck’s-horn Plantain), Lipsandra polysperma (Many-seeded Goosefoot), Lamium confertum (Northern Dead-nettle) and Stachys arvensis (Field Woundwort) were recorded at a site near Milngavie, where pipeline restoration works had used imported topsoil from the Ayrshire coast.

Aquatic plants were well represented, including Nuphar pumila (Least Water-lily), Utricularia minor (Lesser Bladderwort), several Potamogeton species and Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (Frogbit). Orchid monitoring continued for species such as Corallorhiza trifida (Coralroot Orchid) and Coeloglossum viride (Frog Orchid), and valuable records of Carex magellanica (Tall Bog-sedge) and Hymenophyllum tunbrigense (Tunbridge Filmy-fern) were received.

Two posters were exhibited at the Scottish Botanists’ Conference, and work continued to designate Local Nature Conservation Sites, in partnership with TWIC and Stirlingshire Council.

Scleranthus annuus (Annual Knawel)

Frequent along a network of forestry tracks in the Carron Valley, alongside Teesdalia nudicaulis (Shepherd’s Cress)

Asplenium ceterach (Rustyback Fern)

The two known sites for this species were monitored, and a new third site was discovered

Draba muralis (Wall Whitlowgrass)

Several new sites were discovered on wasteground and in quarries, including this stand comprising thousands of plants

Teesdalia nudicaulis (Shepherd's Cress)

Previously thought extinct in the vice-county, a population consisting of hundreds of plants was discovered in the Carron Valley

Trifolium striatum (Knotted Clover)

Another species thought extinct in the vice-county, it was rediscovered growing by Stirling Castle

Filago germanica (Common Cudweed)

New for the vice-county, growing by the Falkirk Wheel

Jasione montana (Sheep's-bit)

A survey of this species at Auchinstarry Quarry discovered it at numerous points along the cliff top, as well as occasionally on the cliff face