Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Cotoneaster frigidus (Tree Cotoneaster) growing on the site of a ruin, new species for Wexford

 I was out trying to refind Carex strigosa (Thin-spiked Wood-sedge) in the only hectad in the county where there is no post 2000 record. No luck as where the Carex once grew had been drained and planted with trees. While in the area I noticed two large chimneys poking above the trees, my first thought was there might be snowdrops in the wood, if it was a ruin (see below). It was a large house at one time known as Coolbawn. There was a Cotoneaster self-sown on the ruins, plus a very large tree of the Cotoneaster (see above), which I took to have been planted. As the tree still had leaves and berries I was able to ID it as Cotoneaster frigidus (Tree Cotoneaster) a new species for the county.
                                             Above and below the ruins of Coolbawn
 Also self-sown on the ruin was a number of bushes of Veronica salicifolia (Koromiko) (see blow, light green bush in picture), this is a new hectad record for this Veronica. Had no luck in finding any snowdrops, but very much enjoyed looking around the ruins.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Map showing average number of species per monad in each hectad within Co. Wexford

Map showing average number of species per monad within each hectad to the of 2018

By the end of 2018 all but one monad had species recorded in Co. Wexford.

There are 2558 monads in the county.

The aim when I started recording for the Flora of Co. Wexford in 2008, was to record one monad from each Tetrad across the county. Paula O’Meara started recording in 2010. A couple years later I decided to aim to visit every monad, something I didn’t really think possible by the end of 2019. Not sure when it was decided to aim for a minimum of 100 species per monad.

S8251 is the only monad with no records.

There are 404,870 individual monad species records across the county.

The average number of species for a monad across the county is 158.

153 monads have under 100 species recorded. The majority are part monads around the county margin, where the neighbouring county has the largest area of land, or most of the monad is in the sea. There is one monad that has only Zostera marina (Eelgrass), even at low tide there is no land above sea-level. Another monad has only a sandy beach as land, the one species being found is Atriplex laciniata (Frosted Orache).

Two whole monads only have 1 species recorded, hopefully they will be visited in the next couple of weeks. Access can be a big problem, this is usually the reason why some whole monads have less than 100 species recorded. Other whole monads just don’t have a very good variety of habitats. For example one monad was all arable, and weed killer had been used along every field bank, only the toughest of species surviving.

Looking forward to seeing how 2019 turns out, and how many more monads can top 100 species.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Thelypteris palustris (Marsh Fern) new native for Co. Wexford

 A real surprise on Friday was finding a very large stand of Marsh Fern in the marsh behind the dunes at Curracloe. This is a new native fern for Co. Wexford. There was a clearing amongst the willows, with reeds, the fern was amongst the other species in the clearing. There were also a few other scattered small clumps of the fern under the willows.

 Below growing amongst the reeds.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Summary of recording in Co. Wexford during 2017

2017 has been another wonderful year for Wexford botany.

Records collected in 2017
104,283 records collected. 2016 being the only year with a higher number of records.

41 people contributed records, plus the Wexford Naturalists’ Field Club gave records from their field meetings.

New species
25 new species, hybrids and varieties were added to the county list in 2017. Of these 8 are native.
Anaphalis margaritacea (Pearly Everlasting)
Anthriscus cerefolium (Garden Chervil)
Atriplex glabriuscula (Babington's Orache) x A. praecox (Early Orache)
Atriplex praecox (Early Orache)
Brassica oleracea var. capitata
Brassica oleracea var. oleracea
Carex canescens (White Sedge)
Chaenomeles speciosa (Japanese Quince)
Crocus x luteus (Yellow Crocus (C. angustifolius x C. flavus))
Erica erigena (Irish Heath)
Euphorbia stricta (Upright Spurge)
Galeopsis ladanum (Broad-leaved Hemp-nettle)
Geranium reuteri (Canary Herb-robert)
Juncus x diffusus (J. effusus (Soft Rush) x J. inflexus (Hard Rush))
Mycelis muralis (Wall Lettuce)
Ophrys apifera var. trollii (Wasp Orchid)
Paeonia lutea (Yellow Tree Peony)
Parentucellia viscosa (Yellow Bartsia)
Raphanus sativus var. oleifera (Fodder Radish)
Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry)
Scilla siberica (Siberian Squill)
Sedum sexangulare (Tasteless Stonecrop)
Sorbaria sorbifolia (Sorbaria)
Taraxacum ronae
Ulex x breoganii (U. europaeus (Gorse) x U. gallii (Western Gorse))

Extinct species
Of the 160 species not recorded in Wexford post 2000, 7 of these were found in 2017.  4 are native. The date given is the last year the species was reported from the county.
Amaranthus hybridus (Green Amaranth) 1990.
Baldellia ranunculoides (Lesser Water-plantain) 1993.
Betula x aurata (B. pendula (Silver Birch) x B. pubescens (Downy Birch)) 1992.
Euphorbia amygdaloides (Wood Spurge) 1955.
Festuca altissima (Wood Fescue) 1964.
Malva neglecta (Dwarf Mallow) 1976.
Pinguicula vulgaris (Common Butterwort) 1992.

Hectad data
Of the 42 whole and part hectads (10 km x 10 km square) that fall within Wexford all now have 200 plus species recorded. All whole hectads have 700 plus species. 12 hectads now have 800 plus species, of these 2 have over 900 species and T02 (which includes Wexford Town) has 1023 species.

Tetrad data
Of the 687 whole and part tetrads (2 km x 2 km square) that fall within Wexford all have been visited. 28 of these have over 400 species recorded, and 4 have over 500 species. T12E Ballinesker (NE of Curracloe) is the highest scoring tetrad with 524 species.

Monad data
Of the 2461 whole or part monads (1 km x 1 km square), 421 have no records or less than 100 species recorded. 360 monads have 200 plus species recorded, of these 20 have 300 plus species. The highest being S7115 Dunbrody with 389 species.

The above map shows all the monads with one or more species recorded. The white squares amongst the green are the monads with no records. Map produced from the BSBI DDb.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower) in a bean field

 Finding Cornflower on my last day of recording for the Wexford Flora in 2017 on 13th October was a really joy. There was one plant in a bean field at Pallas. This is the first time I have seen Cornflower as a weed of a crop in Wexford. Normally seen on waste ground or where grass seed mix has been sown. There were lots of Corn Marigolds and Wild Radish in the bean field also.
Below: bean field where the Cornflower was growing. Can just make out the blue of the flower of the Cornflower near the bottom of the picture. Half of the field had been harvested. 

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Galeopsis ladanum (Broad-leaved Hemp-nettle) first record for Wexford

Been looking at pictures on google and went back today to check my plant I had named as Galeopsis angustifolia (Red Hemp-nettle) the other day. As I had expected my plant is Galeopsis ladanum (Broad-leaved Hemp-nettle), a species new to me. Also the first record in Ireland for a long time.

I had two plants on the margin of a stubble field at Craan Upper, if they hadn't been flowering I would never have noticed the plants. Both had their tops cut off when the crop was harvested. Compared with  Galeopsis bifida (Bifid Hemp-nettle) and Galeopsis tetrahit (Common Hemp-nettle), which both have stiff prickly hairs to the touch, Broad-leaved Hemp-nettle feels soft to the touch, the flowers are more than twice as large as the other two hemp-nettles.

 Above: one of the Broad-leaved Hemp-nettles in the stubble field. Below: margin of stubble field where the Broad-leaved Hemp-nettle was found.
 Below: looking across stubble field to margin where the Broad-leaved Hemp-nettle was seen.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Mentha x piperita (Peppermint)

 Peppermint is a hybrid between Mentha aquatica (Water Mint) and Mentha spicata (Spear Mint). Not a common mint in Wexford. I was surprised to find a large stand in a brackish marsh in Wexford Harbour yesterday. It is my favourite mint, always puts on a good show at this time of year. At this site it was growing with Carex disticha (Brown Sedge) and Persicaria amphibia (Amphibious Bistort).