2023 County Report for Midlothian

Sue Jury

For 2023 there have been a total of 31,308 records added to the DDB.  The recording priority was to target monads, with no or few records, and updating old records by re-finding species. A focus also has been on recording in brownfield sites before they are lost to development.


Midlothian has also been also involved in recording with TWIC, the BSS and the ENHS.


A WhatsApp botany group has been created with East Lothian, holding eight walks from May to September. Other impromptu walks held at other times.


Pilularia globularia (Pillwort) was re-introduced by Tim Duffy and I into Murder Acre, SWT Reserve.


Visits to some inaccessible sites were organised, these being Hillhead Quarry, Newbridge and Hazelbank Quarry, near Fountainhall.


A response has been sent by David Elston and I into Historic Environment Scotland regarding the Strategic Plan for Holyrood Park.



Notable Finds in 2023


A poster of the Notable Finds was presented at the BSBI and TWIC conferences.


Crataegus × subsphaerica, (Crataegus monogyna × rhipidophylla) see Plant of the week (https://botsocscot.wordpress.com) A First record for Scotland. This species seem to have been overlooked, common in areas where landscapers have been. This seems to be a fertile hybrid as saplings have been found.


Elymus athericus (Sea Couch) First verified record for Midlothian (and Scotland). See article in BSBI News by Michael Wilcox (BSBI-News-154-web.pdf).


Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid) First for Midlothian on Granton, brownfield site. Attempt has been made to move them to a safer site as the site is being re-developed.


Pilosella caespitosa (Yellow Fox-and-cubs) 1986. New site, Millerhill


Hyoscymus niger (Henbane) 1986. Re-find Cramond


Hypopitys monotropa (Yellow Bird’s-nest) New site found. Old site lost to re-development


Brachypodium pinnatum (Tor Grass) 1992 old record not found. New record, RBS Gogarburn


Datura stramonium (Thorn Apple) Rare Alien. 2 plants flowering and flowering, Newbridge


Bolboschoenus maritimus (Sea Club-rush) First record, Millerhill


Poa imbecilla (New Zealand Poa) re-find. Naturalised within the RGBE

Crataegus × subsphaerica C. monogyna × C. rhipidiphylla (Common hawthorn × Large sepalled Hawthorn)

Found at Hallyards on disused railway

This taxon seems to have gone by un-noticed. Wherever landscapers have been: roads, rivers, estates and amenity sites there seem to be plantings.


First record for Scotland


Found by Sue Jury and Douglas McKean verified by Mick Crawley


Elymus athericus (Sea Couch)

First verified record for Scotland.

Large clump found at Seafield on the beach. Found by Sue Jury verified by Michael Wilcox.

The specimen is now in the herbarium at the RBGE.


Bolboschoenus maritimus (Sea club-rush)

First Record for Midlothian


Found at Millerhill on waste-ground Found by Sue Jury verified by Matt Harding

Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid)

First Record for Midlothian

Found 20 flowering spikes at West Granton on waste-ground by Marcus Ruhsam


Brachypodium pinnatum (Heath-false Brome or Tor grass

This is probably the only existing record as the original record 1992 Cobbinshaw was not re-found. The area was searched for extensively

There are now wind turbines at Cobbinshaw.

Current record found at RBS Gogarburn by David Adamson verified by Michael Wilcox

Pilosella caespitosa (Yellow fox and cubs)

A Rare Alien

Mound at Millerhill waste-ground by Sue Jury and Vladimir Krivtsov verified by Mick Crawley

last seen in 1992

Hypopitys monotropa (Yellow bird's nest)

Second and only existing record.

The first record 1921 was lost to bulldozers. This record was found in the same bit of retained woodland by Millerhill waste-ground the record was found by Douglas McKean and Stuart Maxwell.

90-100 stems found.



Hyoscyamus niger (Henbane)

A Rare Alien

Re-found by Sue Jury and ENHS, on outing to Cramond Island.

The last record was found in 1986.

This re-find was probably from a washed up seed. The seed source maybe from May Island where there is a large colony of Henbane at the Old Lighthouse.


Datura stramonium (Thorn Apple)

A Rare Alien

Found at Newbridge waste-ground, 2 plants seen. Found by Sue Jury and Douglas McKean.