2022 County Report for Co. Clare

Donncha Ó Catháin

The botanical highlight of 2022 was the re-discovery of Trichomanes speciosum sporophyte in Co. Clare. Two new sites for the Killarney Fern sporophyte were found in Co. Clare in 2022, these are the first records of the fern in the Vice County since 1879. A single T. speciosum sporophyte colony was found by Cilian Roden & Micheline Sheehy Skeffington in the Slieve Aughty Mountains in January. Inspired by this find, Donncha Ó Catháin undertook fieldwork to search suitable habitats for filmy-ferns in the western part of Co. Clare; this resulted in the discovery of a further two sporophyte colonies at a location west of Ennis. Other notable records gathered as part of Donncha's fieldwork included four new localities for Hymenophyllum tunbrigense (Tunbridge Filmy-fern)also not recorded from West Clare since the 19th Century.

Other notable 2022 finds to report are as follows:

  • 1st county record for Euphorbia hyberna (Irish Spurge) near Flagmount, East Clare (Donncha Ó Catháin).
  • 1st county record for Sisyrinchium californicum (Yellow-eyed Grass) near Lissycasey, West Clare (Phoebe O'Brien).
  • 1st county record for Tolmiea menziesii (Pick-a-back Plant) at Maryfort in East Clare, on 29th June (Simon Barron & Philip Perrin).
  • Hymenophyllum wilsonii recorded from near Inchiquin Lough; a new site for a species only known from one other locality in The Burren region (Donncha Ó Catháin)

On June 19th we held our first BSBI field meeting as VCRs for H9 Clare , which took place on the east side of Slieve Roe in Burren National Park. There was a good turnout of botanists new and experienced alike. Records gathered included 10 orchid species, including Ophrys insectifera (Fly Orchid) and  Neotinea maculata (Dense-flowered Orchid).