2023 County Report for West Perthshire

Liz Lavery and Jane Jones

It has been a quiet year, but 4564 records have so far been added to the DDb and confirmed. Matt, the Scottish Officer, who lives locally in our VC, has very kindly sent us any records he has made over the year. His strangest record was found growing in a crack in the pavement of his village and turned out to be Oxybasis glauca, (Oak-leaved Goosefoot) Matt also had an expedition this summer into the far NW of our VC, collecting records for an area which is both difficult to access and very rough under foot. Liz and I were delighted as it was more than we could have contemplated. However, Matt thoroughly enjoyed himself, collecting about 1,000 records which we hope will be added to the DDb in the New Year.


Liz has been an Identiplant tutor for some years but I am joining the team for 2024 and look forward to helping students get to grips with plant identification and the enjoyment of plant recording.


The original RPR for VC87 was completed in 2013 but is presently being updated.


Several alien plants seem to have appeared in local gardens; these have included Silene armeria, (Garden Catchfly), Zinnia elegans, (Zinnia) and Actinidia deliciosa, (Kiwi). Where the first two species came from is a mystery but the latter was from seeds being put into a compost bin. Whether any survive a winter will be interesting to see, but I don’t imagine there will be kiwi fruit to pick in 2024.


The PSNS (Perthshire Society of Natural Science) Botanical and Ornithological Sections were re-launched in 2022 as the PSNS Nature Section, https://www.psns.org.uk/nature/ , combining Botany and Birds. In 2023 Liz led or co-led three very enjoyable and well attended excursions. One in April to look at Lathraea squamaria (Toothwort) in Dollar Glen and listen out for newly arrived summer migrants. We were thrilled to hear a Black Cap and a Nuthatch. Venturing into VC88, two lovely days were spent exploring the banks of the River Tay. A notable find was Lactuca virosa (Great Lettuce), a monstrous looking plant, absent from our vice-county; at points we had fun navigating a maze of beaver paths and slides running into the river.