Arabidopsis again and Limestone on Skye, and Rum

This is just a preliminary post until I get to sorting out records from the past three days properly.  On Monday I obtained samples of Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale Cress) from four populations on Skye: leaves in silica gel for DNA work, stem specimens in alcohol for assessment of woodiness and fruits so that seeds can be grown on.  I will be some time before we know what is found, but the situation looks more complex than I expected with most populations showing some individuals with a possible tendency towards woodiness.

Whilst on Skye I also checked an Equisetum that I think may be a hybrid.  I have sent images to an expert and have a specimen that could follow.  From there I went to check on a Ribes that I found three years ago and which I thought was R. spicatum (Downy Currant).  It is in a small limestone grike and is still a small plant with no flowers/fruits so I cannot check hypanthium shape, which would be diagnostic.  However, it is really hairy and I think I am convinced that it is this species. This is some considerable distance from known sites on Skye.

Ribes spicatum

The Grike

After that I went to look for Epipactis atrorubens (Dark-red Helleborine) in the only 10km square in the vice-county for which there was a pre-2000 record but none since.  That worked, though I only found one plant. A thorough search during flowering time might do better.  I also found on the nearby shore, Catabrosa aquatica (Whorl-grass) which also needed a recent record for the hectad.

Tuesday was the Skye & Lochalsh SWT trip to Rum.  I spent the day in the Kinloch area and added a few interesting records  of which more later.

Kinloch Castle, Rum

Today, I had a limestone fix near Suardal on Skye.  I found several nice things including the Lycopodium annotinum (Interrupted Clubmoss) found on Skye last year:

Lycopodium annotinum

Melica nutans (Mountain Melick) which is rare in the vice-county

Melica nutans

and lots and lots of Dryas octopetala (Mountain Avens):

Dryas octopetala

Again, perhaps more later.

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