Skye Update

Hilary Brown reports orchids from a June visit including Pseudorchis albida (Small-white Orchid) near Portree in an area where it was first and last recorded in 2003.

Matt Parratt says about  the Broadford poplar: “the characters it displays are consistent with Populus trichocarpa. There are now many cultivars of this species, and as many of the hybrid with P. balsamifera. In the absence of fruit capsules or catkins it isn’t possible to take the ID any further, though it may be worth keeping an eye out for catkins next spring.”

The Kilbride poplar, he says, “is almost certainly another balsam poplar” but a specimen will be sent for further study.

Steve has found another new site for Parnassia near Kilbride, in a different 10km square but so far no Dryas. Yesterday I found Parnassia near Rubha Garbhaig, Staffin, close to an old record but failed to find Dryas on Leac nan Fionn near the Quirang. This would be worth another try some time.

I also had a look at  Gwyn’s Glebionis segetum (Corn Marigold) up Staffin way which is in a patch of oats – presumably dormant seed that has been stirred into life (the marigold, not the oats).

Glebionis segetum

Between the two (Parnassia site and Glebionis site) I spotted Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan Balsam)  – another 10km square where it has become established.

Most of yesterday was spent near Leac nan Fionn:

Leac nan Fionn, southern end

Crucifers included Arabidopsis petraea (Northern Rock-cress) and Draba incana (Hoary Whitlowgrass), saxifrages present were Saxifraga aizoides (Yellow), hypnoides (Mossy), oppositifolia (Purple) and stellaris (Starry).  Campions present were Silene acaulis (Moss Campion), dioica (Red), flos-cuculi (Ragged-Robin) and uniflora (Sea). Other notables included Juncus triglumis (Three-flowered Rush) in an almost vertical bog, Dryopteris oreades (Mountain Male-fern), Epilobium alsinifolium (Chickweed Willowherb) and Gentianella campestris (Field Gentian).

It was still possible to find late-flowering individuals:

Arabidopsis petraea

Silene acaulis

We have had quite a bit of rain recently but some of the lochs are still very low:

Loch Hasco

with water plant stranded on the shore:

Sparganium angustifolium

Glyceria fluitans

However, smaller lochs were looking OK:

Unnamed Lochan with Sparganium angustifoilium

This is Fir Bhreugach:

Fir Bhreugach


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