2023 County Report for Co. Limerick

Oliver Lynch Milner

On the recording front in 2023, it was a quiet year, due to the transition between VCRs. Oliver Lynch Milner took over from Tanya Slattery as the Vice County Recorder in late 2023, with the hopes of continuing in the marvellous footsteps of Tanya Slattery, and Sylvia Reynolds.

In total, 314 records were uploaded to the Database for Co. Limerick. 268 of these records were made by OLM during his first outings as VCR, with the remaining 46 being made by other recorders during their fieldwork, or the submission of casual records.

Other fieldwork in Limerick for 2023 included the 2023 New Year Plant Hunt, yielding 58 records. One hunt occurred this year in Limerick for the NYPH. The usual species such as Cymbalaria muralis (Ivy-leaved Toadflax), Hedera hibernica (Atlantic Ivy), Senecio vulgaris (Groundsel), Veronica persica (Common Field Speedwell), and Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) to name a few were recorded in flower. Before becoming VCR in October 2023, I did some grassland-focused fieldwork on three grassland sites in Co. Limerick for the Masters of Science in plant ecology, I am currently pursuing. During the site visit to the Galtees, it was hoped an observation of Pseudorchis albida (Small White Orchid) would be made at this known site. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful.

In 2024, I am to cover monads which have either been not previously surveyed or monads with very few records. Various field meetings are also being arranged for Limerick. While I am happy to do the VCR role solo, I more than welcome expressions of interest for joining me to be co-VCR. You may contact me if this may interest you.

Achillea ptarmica (Sneezewort)

A species listed on Limerick’s Rare Plant Register (Reynolds, 2021), was recorded in Mohernagh, West Limerick. This is both the first record for this species since 2019, and the first hectad record for R24. Recorded during the grassland research described above.

Huperzia selago (Fir Clubmoss)

Recorded during the grassland fieldwork. New monad record at a known site for the species

Ophioglossum vulgatum (Adder's Tongue)

A report of a new hectad record (R54) in the Croom/Patrickswell area was made, which will be visited in 2024 for verification.

Viscum album (Mistletoe)

A healthy and prolific population was observed on the grounds of Adare Manor (R44). The species is growing well on the old orchards of the grounds. In a review of the Mistletoe records in Ireland by E. Charles Nelson (2008) it is believed to have been first recorded here in May 1987, and reports of the species being imported to Adare Manor sixty years prior.

Veronica crista-galli (Crested Field Speedwell)

Recorded in Limerick City in 2023. This species has only been recorded in Limerick three other times, with the first record being 1997 by Sylia Reynolds at Kilmallock. Prior to this record, it was last recorded in 2005.

Mentha spp (Mint) - potentially M. × villosa (Apple Mint)

In December 2023, an interesting Mentha (mint) specimen was found in Bruff, Co. Limerick. First believed to be Mentha spicata (Spearmint), it may actually be a hybrid with that species. Some suggestions included × piperita (Peppermint, and others M. × villosa (Apple Mint) (which would be a first county record). The specimen appears to be intermediate in characteristics of the two hybrids, making ID difficult. Ray Harley (BSBI Referee for Mentha) suggested it may be an unusual M. × villosa but will take a sample later in 2024.