2020 County Report for Co. Kilkenny

Roger Goodwillie

The few crumbs of fieldwork that we could do this year included a visit to Crowhill Wood in the summer. This is a partly wooded fen in which Carex appropinquata (fibrous tussock-sedge) grows abundantly. I was hoping for Ophrys insectifera (fly orchid) as there is no extant record of it in the county but instead, amidst a riot of Trifolium medium (zig-zag clover), added both Rhamnus cathartica (buckthorn) and Carex lasiocarpa (slender sedge) to the flora, making it a rather special site for Kilkenny. The county is on the fringes of the limestone Central Plain and the site very much on the edge of both distributions.


My plant of the year was Fumaria densiflora (dense-flowered fumitory) growing in an onion field (and perhaps introduced with the seed). It is seldom recorded in Ireland, recently only in Down and Dublin. Many fumitories are much the same but this one with tiny peduncles and huge sepals, had an immediately mysterious look about it. It emphasised the sense of relief that new species do indeed look different from old ones and one has not been passing over them for years.


We persisted on the Atlas front in winter by visiting blank tetrads and trying to reach 150 species, usually in agricultural surroundings. This was occasionally achieved and a find of Hypericum humifusum (trailing St John’s wort) happily growing in stubbles like Veronica persica (field speedwell), made that day a success.