Archive for May, 2019

Skye Botany Group Plans for May

May 3, 2019

On the 7th (or 8th or 11th depending on the weather) some of us plan to repeat our attempt of two years ago to re-find Kalmia procumbens (Trailing Azalea) on the eastern ridge of Sgùrr nan Gillean.

A week or two later (date currently being voted on) we plan to walk along the Kilmaluag River in NG47G at the far north of the island. This tetrad has only 41 taxa recorded post-1999 and looks as though it should be reasonably rich, at least along the river – and there may be ruderals in Conasta. There is a 1985 record for Salix phylicifolia (Tea-leaved Willow) on the Lon Horro, a tributary of the Kilmaluag River which it would be nice to re-find as there is no recent record for this in NG47.

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May 3, 2019

I have already shared this on the Skye Naturalists’ Network Facebook page, but for those of you who do not see that…..

Something for later in the year from Brian Douglas, Community Fungus Survey Leader for the Lost and Found Fungi project:0001

Brian says: “Skye is particularly good for earthtongues (notably Microglossum and Trichoglossum species). Thanks to past surveys of Skye (and notably a 2011 Kew/SNH survey) Kew has a lot of specimens from Skye with precise grid references, and some are either new species to science, or species which need more taxonomic work to resolve/stabilise the concepts. Unfortunately most of these specimens lack good photographs, and colours when fresh are extremely important characters for these species. So, if you know anyone on Skye who would enjoy the challenge of tracking down and photographing a few important populations later on this year using our 8fig grid references, and collecting a specimen for sequencing, please let me know.  (There’s also a lot more to the earthtongue story if anyone is particularly interested in helping to resolve it!)

You might also be interested in some of the species of the Lost and Found Fungi project (which I coordinate) – there are a handful of interesting species of conservation interest recorded from Skye and the nearby Isle of Canna which we’ve mapped here: . More details of the project and these species can be found on our website here:…/lost-and-found-fungi-project . Smut fungi on sedges such as Carex limosa, C. pulicaris, or indeed smuts on any sedge would be worth keeping an eye out for if anyone happens to have an interest in sedges or wetland plants/biodiversity.

And of course I’m always interested in any plant-associated fungal rarities, if any turn up that I can help ID…”

Anthracoidea kari, the smut on Carex echinata (Star Sedge) is quite widespread on Skye but others seen very rare.

Recent Plant Finds

May 2, 2019

Jim visited the far south-western area of Skye that is in NM59; the rest being in the 100km square NG. He added Allium ursinum (Ramsons) and Sanicula europaea (Sanicle) to NM59 as well as making a number of other useful records.

The Skye Nature Group went to Kilmarie yesterday and re-found the 1973 record for Daphne laureola (Spurge-laurel), the only known site in VC104. Apparently it is buried beneath taller vegetation – maybe six main plants covering an area 30ft by 10ft.

Daphne laureola

Spurge-laurel                    Image S. Gibson

They also spotted Rhododendron luteum (Yellow Azalea) – the second site on Skye.

Rhododendron luteum

Yellow Azalea      Image: S Gibson

I have been on several expeditions in areas where Anemone nemorosa (Wood Anemone) and/or Ficaria verna subsp. fertilis (Lesser Celandine) have not been recorded as this seems to me to be a good indicator of places I have not visited early in the year.

This has gone quite well with the first Anemone records in NG14 since 1968 and the first ever in NG15. A new site for Equisetum pratense (Shady Horsetail) on the Suardal Burn in NG25 had about 200 plants.

A great start to 2019:

Jan-Apr VC104 Records
2019 2129
2018 1514
2017 1613
2016 508
2015 928