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).

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Zostera marina (Eelgrass) a new site at Bannow Bay

 Zostera marina  is a rare species on the Wexford coast. It was a very pleasant surprise to find a new location within Bannow Bay. This site is on the east side of Bannow Island and is now the largest site in the county. There is also another population in Bannow Bay, but right over in the far west of Bannow Bay. Otherwise there is one other site at Kilmore Quay.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Atriplex praecox (Early Orache) a new native species for Co. Wexford and 2nd site for Ireland

 This time of year I spend a lot of time looking at Atriplex as I find them a very interesting species. Most people think they are very boring! Two weeks ago I found Atriplex praecox (Early Orache) as a new native species for Ireland from the very SW corner of Ireland on the shore of Valentia Island, Kerry. Known from a scattering of sites from Scotland and the very north of England. Yesterday I went and had a look at the SW corner of Lady's Island Lake at Rostonstown and there it was again, Atriplex praecox. If you like showy plants, this isn't for you. Has to be one of the dullest rare species out there, most plants are rarely more than 6 cm across, and lay flat on the ground. Generally a reddish-purple in colour, but can be a greenish-purple. Atriplex praecox is said to like sheltered sea lochs in Scotland, certainly plenty of these in the north of Ireland. There must be other sites out there waiting to be found!
 The lower leaves are trullate, in other words trowel-shaped. The bracteoles are only joined at the very base. In both the Wexford and Kerry sites Atriplex praecox grows just above the hide tide mark. The very bottom picture shows the habitat at Lady's Island Lake.