2020 County Report for Kintyre

Dave and Pat Batty

We had few opportunities to botanise in the VC during 2020 and these were in Mid Argyll.  We did have the time to check on several rare or local species when they were flowering.  Lathyrus palustris (Marsh Pea) at its one site did very well with 16 plants in flower and 600+ non-flowering plants.  The colony of Platanthera bifolia (Lesser Butterfly-orchid) on the Tayvallich peninsula had the best year we’ve ever seen both in terms of number of plants (hundreds) and extent (present in areas not seen before).  Both these species may have benefitted from the sunny, warm and dry spring experienced on the west.  We checked one of the Cirsium dissectum (Meadow Thistle) sites that we had not visited for some time and found the plant as extensive as in the past.  Changes in land use in the VC have had a major effect on the flora and so we went to check a Dactylorhiza traunsteinerioides (Narrow-leaved Marsh-orchid) site in a flushed clearing on a conifer hillside.  Despite the vegetation having grown rank with few open flushed areas we did locate 12 flowering plants and 1 non-flowering.  It was almost impossible to find non-flowering ones.  The only record we received from the south of the VC was for Platanthera chlorantha (Greater Butterfly-orchid) from Machrahanish.

Despite seeing these rare species we took particular delight in the spectacular show of spring flowers, particularly Bluebells, Ramsons and Greater Stitchwort which really raised our spirits.