Cerastium fontanum subsp. holosteoides (Common Mouse-ear)
was a nice surprise today on the dunes at Grogan Burrow, as it is a new subsp.
for the county. I have known this almost hairless Mouse-ear on the dunes of
Ballyteige Burrow since about 2011, but have never seen it flowering. Today as
soon as I saw the flowers, noticing how much larger they were, it took me back
to seeing this subsp. in the Comeragh Mountains in Co. Waterford.
The leaves look glossy as they are hairless, except for
along the margins. The internodes are hairless except for a single row of
I now have to visit Ballyteige Burrow to see if the hairless
Cerastium fontanum there are the same subsp.
Sea Stock refound on the Wexford coast. A species that was thought extinct in Ireland. The Ireland Red List No. 10 Vascular Plants says it was last seen in Ireland from Co. Clare in 1933, and for Wexford says 1925. In my database for the county I have records up to the 1970s, which would seen to be correct, as more than one person has mentioned seeing Sea Stock in the county, since I reported the Wexford site found on 2nd April. I counted 85 plants, but might be as many as 100 plants. The Sea Stock has been there more than one year, as there were tiny little plants as well as large rosettes. I walked this stretch of coast in 2016 looking for Atriplex, surprised I didn't seen it then if it was there, would seem more likely that a winter storm unearthed buried seeds.
Above: Sea Stock growing on the margin of the Sea Buckthorn shrub, on the edge of the sandy areas just above the strand. Below: looking south.
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.
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
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 average number of species for a monad across the county
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.
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.
Betula x aurata (B. pendula
(Silver Birch) x B. pubescens (Downy
amygdaloides (Wood Spurge) 1955.
Festuca altissima (Wood Fescue) 1964.
(Dwarf Mallow) 1976.
Pinguicula vulgaris (Common Butterwort) 1992.
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.
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.
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.
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.