Geary – Updated

In the past I have driven to the end of the road at Geary in order to hasten to the botanically rich Geary Ravine SSSI. Today I stopped a little sooner and had a go at tetrad NG25Q, in particular the coastal woodland.

This tetrad is unusual in VC104 in that there were lots of records (155) from before the year 2000 but none since. There is one other in a similar category with 96 earlier records but none recent, but that is more difficult to reach.

The reason for all these earlier records at Geary is a 1996 visit by Jackie Muscott and the Edinburgh Natural History Society. Despite the earliness of the season, I was able to re-find the majority of the previous records – and add some more.

The woodland ground flora was at its best, flowering before being shaded by tree leaves. Along the road there were some interesting escapes like Myrrhis odorata (Sweet Cicely), Tolmiea menziesii (Pick-a-back-plant), Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry) and Symphytum x uplandicum (Russian Comfrey).

Some plants in flower, or nearly so:

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This little fellow dropped onto my recording card but I didn’t have the heart to take him home and try to determine exactly which land snail he is as he was unlikely to survive the experience:

Snail Geary 2

Clearly a Balea, just need to check the species….. see comments below.

There were interesting fungi on plants too, some awaiting determination; the one on  Veronica beccabunga (Brooklime) may be unusual:

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Later: Bruce has confirmed my tentative identifications of

Uromyces muscari on Bluebell
Ramularia calthae on Marsh-marigold
Puccinia obscura on Great Wood-rush

and says that the rust on Brooklime is probably Puccinia veronicae on a previously unknown host, but wants the specimen I took.

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7 Responses to “Geary – Updated”

  1. quercuscorticis Says:

    Snail is Balea heydeni, the Tree Snail

  2. quercuscorticis Says:

    No rusts are recorded from Veronica beccabunga

  3. Stephen Says:

    Excellent – I feared the snail would have a myriad of possibilities. Thank you. I have sent V. beccabunga images to Bruce and have a specimen. Where do you go to check for e.g. rusts on V beccabunga? Best wishes.

  4. Stephen Says:

    NBN gives Balea sarsii as accepted name for Balea heydeni, whereas Tree Snail comes out as Balea perversa. Help!
    Later: I see sarsii has superseded heyendi and form images on web this seems to be the right one.

    • Seth Gibster Says:

      Balea sarsii is Tree Snail, Balea perversa is Wall Snail and, generally speaking, they do what it says on the tin. Yours looks rounded enough for sarsii I think. Snails tend to do quite well in a dry pot/tube, so long as they aren’t in there for days on end.

  5. Terry swainbank Says:

    Down in a bluebell wood in the Chilterns yesterday. Despite there being thousands of plants it took me a long time to find any with the bluebell rust, but I did find a group of plants, all of which were affected – some significantly – in the heaviest shade under beech.

  6. Stephen Says:

    Thanks, Seth. I was going with sarsii having checked out images and keys but v pleased to have your view as well.

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