Catch-up

I have been away – and am going away again in a few days, but there are a few things to report.

Dorothy visited Skye and spotted the Linaria repens (Pale Toadflax) in Portree:

Linaria repens   Photo D. Moodie

Linaria repens               Photo D. Moodie

where it has been established for over 50 years.  She also sent me some photos of Agrimony (Agrimonia sp.) which have forced me to address an issue I have been largely ducking for years. There are quite a few records for both Agrimonia eupatoria (Agrimony) and Agrimonia procera (Fragrant Agrimony) for Eigg, Raasay and Skye and indeed I come across these plants reasonably frequently. Some populations have been recorded as both species at different times.

The images in Clive Stace’s Flora don’t match parts of the description (e.g. in text grooves on fruits of A. procera reaching less than 3/4 way to apex but shown in figure as full length of fruit. And for A. eupatoria the figure shows erect spines while the text says they can be patent which could give the impression some are reflexed).

The Plant Crib http://www.bsbi.org.uk/Agrimonia_Crib.pdf  only makes matters worse:

  1. The hypanthium may lose its characteristic bell-shaped shape in forms of procera in which a single seed is formed instead of the normal two, making it appear obconical.
  2. Large, glandular, distinctly aromatic forms of A. eupatoria which can be mistaken for A. procera; this form has been noted in Durham
  3. The bristles may be reflexed to 90° in A. eupatoria, which is more than usually illustrated.

I have usually used the Plant Crib comment and associated illustrations: “The stems and lower surface of the leaves have subsessile glands much more abundant than hairs in A. procera (Fig. a) and hairs much more abundant than subsessile glands in A. eupatoria (Fig. b).”

But I always remain uncertain.

I have now sought advice elsewhere but am still no happier as to the identity of our plants.  Further discussion in progress……. I will also try to have a late look at some specimens – it seems that two seeds in a fruit would confirm A. procera – though a single seed would not be diagnostic.

Also…..

Steve sent 235 records from Skye in August – numbers down as he has been distracted by fungi and hoverflies.

My moth trap ten days ago caught 16 moths of which eight were Square-spot Rustics.

The Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell) found on the SWT walk was tetraploid so the Scottish ploidy map now looks like this:

Camp rot Scotland ploidy Sept 14

Hexaploids are red; tetraploids are yellow.

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One Response to “Catch-up”

  1. Updates | Plants of Skye, Raasay & The Small Isles Says:

    […] sent a specimen of the Agrimonia from Scorrybreac that Dorothy found to Mike Wilcox.  He compared it with A. eupatoria which grows in his area and says it is not that […]

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