Lusa, Broadford, Kilmarie

After yet another trip to the dentist in Kyle I ventured farther into the foreign territory of VC 105, Wester Ross. I had promised Duncan, my opposite number, a decent grid reference for some Myrrhis odorata (Sweet Cicely) spotted last year. This achieved I also noted Parnassia palustris (Grass-of-Parnassus), Bromopsis ramosa (Hairy-brome) and Juncus tenuis (Slender Rush) in what looks like a new 10 km square for all three.

Back on Skye I tried for Hesperis matronalis (Dame’s-violet) in one site from 1985-1987 and another not far away from earlier this year but without success.  However, I did find only the second vice-county location for Spiraea x rosalba (Intermediate Bridewort) near Lusa – Spiraea x pseudosalicifolia (Confused Bridewort) is, of course all over the place.

Od vernus lit 1

Photo: S. Terry

Recently Steve reported Odontites vernus (Red Bartsia) that looked good for subsp. litoralis: but a look at the whole population and the non-littoral habitat makes me think it is subsp. vernus, the only subspecies recorded in VC 104:

Odontites vernus

Odontites vernus

This area has many garden plants such as Aquilegia vulgaris (Columbine), Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora (Montbretia), Euphorbia dulcis (Sweet Spurge), Gaultheria mucronata (Prickly Heath) and Ribes nigrum (Black Currant).

Passing through Broadford I noticed Pilosella aurantiaca (Fox-and-cubs) in a different place from where Steve spotted it last year in the same general area.  By that time I was heading for Kilmarie where the old graveyard yielded masses of Glechoma hederacea (Ground-ivy) not recorded from that area since 1987 and Polypodium interjectum (Intermediate Polypody) not recorded from that area since 1966.

Kilmarie also yielded a record for Sycamore tarspot (Rhytisma acerinum) – the fungus that makes black spots on sycamore leaves – which makes a significant contribution to the known vice-county distribution:


Sycamore Tarspot Map

Sycamore Tarspot Map

As a final flourish, I recorded Rumex longifolius (Northern Dock) from Strollamus, the first record for that 10 km square since 1987, albeit at the other end of the square. R. longifolius has been recorded in many more squares in recent years but there is a gap in southern Skye – see map.  Most records are from roadsides but there also some from other ruderal sites.


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