Herbarium at Home Records

It was a while since I had looked at Herbarium at Home/Herbaria United.  I have now set up a monthly alert for any additions for VC104.  Quite a lot of specimens have been added since I was last there including a 1938 specimen of Rumex x hybridus (R. longifolius (Northern Dock) x R. obtusifolius (Broad-leaved Dock)).  I  had not previously known of any records for this in the vice-county before my own.  It looks quite close to R. longifolius as though it may have back-crossed with it – and I asked Ian Green to have a look at the image as well, who agrees with this thought.

Otherwise, there are lots of unexceptional specimens plus the usual list of odd things…. Agrostemma githago (Corncockle), Alopecurus bulbosus (Bulbous Foxtail), Carex saxatilis (Russet Sedge), Circaea alpina (Alpine Enchanter’s-nightshade), Cystopteris dickieana (Dickie’s Bladder-fern), Festuca longifolia (Blue Fescue), Juncus compressus (Round-fruited Rush), Linnaea borealis (Twinflower)…….

It is difficult to know what to do with these.  Many are very old records (nineteenth century); many just have Skye for the location, or Sligachan  – which makes it impossible to assign even a 10km square – and it is known that in those days some recorders merely noted where they were staying rather than where the plant was found. Some are probably just plain wrong but the image or the specimen is not good enough to be sure (Alopecurus bulbosus, Circaea alpina, Festuca longifolia, Juncus compressus) but there again….  The origin of some specimens may have become confused over 150 years.

It would be lovely to believe that Linnaea borealis was once on Skye and that it could still be “at the top of Glen Dale”…

I have asked Mike Porter to look at the image of  Carex saxatilis but I suspect an inspection of the specimen itself would be necessary.


2 Responses to “Herbarium at Home Records”

  1. Tom Humphrey Says:

    Thanks for posting this. If any of the specimens do turn out to be acceptable new first-records for Skye then please post a note about them on the herb@home message board (or here on your blog, so that I could link to it).

    Herb@home probably needs a mechanism to allow county recorders to rate records (so that you could mark some of the dubious stuff as correctly transcribed but still not a credible record). If a system that mirrored the confirmation states in the DDb were introduced for herb@home (e.g. ‘confirmed’, ‘dubious’, ‘rejected’, ‘needs verification’) would that be useful for you?

  2. Stephen Says:

    I have accepted the Rumex x hybridus as the earliest VC104 record known to date. The confirmation states idea sounds good to me.
    Best, Stephen

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