New Herbarium United Specimens from Skye

Yesterday was a very wet day so I have checked Herbaria United for new entries for VC 104 since January when I last checked.  There are four:  Ribes rubrum (Red Currant), Linnaea borealis (Twinflower), Saxifraga hypnoides (Mossy Saxifrage) and Vaccinium uliginosum (Bog Bilberry).

The currant is from the Uig area in 1888 and the original inscription on the herbarium sheet is Ribes Grossularia v. spicatum. Later it has been determined as Ribes rubrum v. vulgare. However, there are no flowers which are important for separating these species, and this is an area of Skye where Ribes spicatum (Downy Currant) is well known and has been since 1868 whereas Ribes rubrum (Red Currant) is not known.

The twinflower seems very unlikely and whilst that is undoubtedly what the specimen is, the location is given as Top of Glen Dale, Isle of Skye (?) and undated.

The saxifrage is from 1876 near Luib and is not particularly notable.

The Bog Bilberry or Bog Whortleberry however, is very interesting as this is a species that I have thought might well be waiting to be found in the vice-county, perhaps in the Kyleakin Hills or the Red Cuillins. There are two other montane plants that I have had similar thoughts about: Cornus suecica (Dwarf Cornel) and Rubus chamaemorus (Cloudberry).  The herbarium specimen is from a mountain near Luib in 1876 which would put it in the Red Cuillins. I wonder if it is still there…….

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