More Plants

I went for a walk at Aird Bernisdale with local residents interested in plants. We made a few new 10 km square records of garden escapes/planted species e.g. Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting), but also managed quite a few new tetrad records, including Pinguicula lusitanica (Pale Butterwort) in a roadside ditch.

Skye Botany Group went to Ardnish, Broadford to search for Platanthera x hybrida (Hybrid Butterfly-orchid P. chlorantha x bifolia). This is a site suggested by Terry Swainbank in his BSBI News paper on the hybrid, because both parents are present close together and we felt it would be a fitting tribute to have a go following his all too early demise.

We did not find it there, but I visited the croft where Terry lived when on Skye and amongst a sea of both parent species, I found a single spike with the pollinia diverging at 20-22°, halfway between the angles seen in the parents. This was 30 m from where Terry recorded it in 2015.

Platanthera x hybrida

The Ardnish expedition was worthwhile from other points of view. We re-found Dactylorhiza viridis (Frog Orchid) though all of my sites from 2009 bar one had been overgrown by Salix aurita (Eared Willow). Nick spotted Dryopteris carthusiana (Narrow Buckler-Fern) in a fen-like area, the first Skye record for many a year. Joanna took some Euphrasia samples for determination, but we do not think that we re-found Euphrasia heslop-harrisonii from earlier surveys. The area looks to have changed since the previous records, with little grazing now.

Dryopteris carthusiana (Narrow Buckler-Fern)

I visited Drynoch following a report by Deirdre of a possible hybrid orchid. Surrounded by large numbers of the putative parents, I think she has X Dactylodenia evansii (Gymnadenia borealis x Dactylorhiza maculata).

X Dactylodenia evansii, probably

There are only two previous records for this hybrid in VC 104.

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One Response to “More Plants”

  1. A Long Time Coming | Plants of Skye, Raasay & The Small Isles Says:

    […] Darwin Tree of Life folks. Hers are near the Coral Beach north of Dunvegan, but a sample taken at Ardnish may also be that. I have returned to Ardnish for a sample hoping for more mature spores and we await […]

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