Healabhal Mhor (Macleod’s Table North)

Catriona used to warn me that this wasn’t the most exciting area botanically and yesterday’s trip confirmed this – though it was a great day to be up a hill and there were moments of botanical pleasure. There was a north-south column of five tetrads around here with no records and yesterday I sorted out the northernmost two as well as taking in the adjacent tetrads to the east.

The top of Healabhal Mhor (Macleod’s Table North) with a summit at 471m was surprisingly wet and covered in a relatively high sward of vegetation – not the bare plateau I had expected.

The Summit

The Summit

This limits its botanical interest considerably and leaves an existing record of Carex bigelowii (Stiff Sedge) as something of a mystery.

A small patch of Saussurea alpina (Alpine Saw-wort) on the north side of Healabhal Mhor at an altitude of about 300m was probably the highlight – it was not previously known from this hill and the last record for this 10km square (from Healabhal Bheag) was in 1968. It is not frequent on Skye away from the Cuillins.

Other pleasing finds included Salix herbacea (Dwarf Willow), Saxifraga hypnoides (Mossy Saxifrage), Thalictrum alpinum (Alpine Meadow-rue) and on the way back to the car

Where's the car?

Where’s the car?

a bog provided records for Drosera x obovata (Obovate Sundew (D. rotundifolia x anglica)) and Utricularia stygia (Nordic Bladderwort) (to be confirmed, but even better if a different member of the U. intermedia aggregate).

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