2023 County Report for Co. Clare

Donncha Ó Catháin, Phoebe O’Brien, and Hannah Mulcahy

There were a number of nice records in the eastern ‘half’ of County Clare in 2023, these included a new site for Euphorbia hyberna (Irish Spurge) found by Donncha Ó Catháin in a small wood north of Killanena. Phoebe O’Brien recorded Scutellaria minor near Feakle; a nice find as there are only a handful of H9 records. Donncha and Hannah Mulcahy recorded Meconopsis cambrica (Welsh Poppy) in the Slieve Bearnagh Mountains. Donncha also recorded  Thalictrum minus (Lesser Meadow-rue) near Lough Atorick.

Notable records from other parts of the VC included Lathyrus palustris (Marsh Pea) at Dromore, found by Enda Mooney NPWS; this appears to be a new county record.

Donncha carried out a recording project focusing on rare/scarce ferns under the NPWS grant scheme for small recording projects. Highlights were:


  • Phegopteris connectilis (Beech Fern) in a small wood near Broadford; last recorded in H9 in late 1800’s


  • Two populations of Hymenophyllum wilsonii (Wilson’s Filmy-fern) and three of H. tunbrigense (Tunbridge Filmy-fern) in the Broadford Hills/Slieve Bearnagh region; these appear to be 1st records for the south-east of Co. Clare.


  • Huperzia selago (Fir Clubmoss) re-found at Glendree (last recorded at this locality in 1963)


  • New sites for Oreopteris limbosperma (Lemon-scented Fern)  in the Slieve Aughty Mountains, including three hectad firsts


  • Equisetum hyemale (Rough Horsetail) near O’Briensbridge; (2nd record for H9)


  • Killarney Fern gametophytes at a number of upland localities in East Clare.

Phegopteris connectilis (Beech Fern)

Phegopteris connectilis (Beech Fern) near Broadford. Donncha Ó Catháin, April 28, 2023.

Equisetum hyemale (Rough Horsetail)

Equisetum hyemale (Rough Horsetail) near O’Briensbridge. Donncha Ó Catháin, March 24, 2023.

Huperzia selago (Fir Clubmoss)

Huperzia selago (Fir Clubmoss) at Glendree. Donncha Ó Catháin, November 1, 2023.

Trichomanes speciosum (Killarney Fern) gametophyte

Gametophytes of Killarney Fern at Gortnamearacaun. Donncha Ó Catháin, June 10, 2023.