Saturday, 10 September 2016

Rumex x knafii (Rumex conglomeratus Clustered Dock x R. maritimus Golden Dock) first record for Ireland.

 I was walking through a reed bed and stopped in my tracks and thought a new site for Golden Dock! The more I looked at it, I was not convinced it really was Golden Dock. Then I realised I had both parents growing very close by and in fact I was looking at the hybrid between Clustered Dock and Golden Dock. This is first time I have seen this hybrid since I saw it in Somerset in 1995. It is also the first record for Ireland. Above: whole plant. Below: close up of hybrid.
 The hybrid has some spines, but they are much shorter than those of Golden Dock.
 Above & below: the hybrid

 Above: the hybrid amongst the reeds
 Above: a dead Golden Dock amongst the reeds.
 I then looked in an adjoining field that had been sown with a mix of flax and oats. There was an abundance of Golden Dock (above), really living up to its name.
 In the above picture all the golden colour is Golden Dock, haven't seen this many Golden Docks in one location for a long time. Below: lots of Golden Dock in forefront off picture. Speaking to Roy Watson today, a local botanist, he says that when the drainage ditch was put through the marshy area Golden Dock came up in the 1000s.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Atriplex littoralis x Atriplex longipes new to Ireland

 Sometimes luck can be on your side when out plant recording. Only stopped at this site as I wanted to go to the bank in Wexford Town. As you can see in the above picture the beach is not very large. To find a new hybrid to Ireland was a big surprise as I stopped to look for other hybrid Atriplex.

Atriplex littoralis (Grass-leaved Orache) x Atriplex longipes (Long-stalked Orache) would seem to be a very rare hybrid as it is not mentioned in the 'New hybrid' book published last year. The only reference I have been able to find is a specimen in the herbarium at Manchester. The specimens house there are F1 synthesised hybrids by Pierre Taschereau. Could my plant be the first recorded from the wild? Photos were sent to John Akeroyd the BSBI Atriplex Referee who agreed with my ID. Will also send the specimen to John to take a look at.

This was a good place for Atriplex as there were four species: Atriplex glabriuscula (Babington's Orache); Atriplex littoralis (Grass-leaved Orache); Atriplex longipes (Long-stalked Orache); Atriplex prostrata (Spear-leaved Orache). Plus 3 hybrids: Atriplex x taschereaui (A. glabriuscula x longipes); Atriplex glabriuscula x prostrata; Atriplex littoralis x Atriplex longipes.
 Above picture showing hybrid Atriplex by yellow part of boat
 Above, closeup of the hybrid
 Above picture shows a bracteole with a long stalk inherited from A. longipes.
 Above picture showing a leafy bracteole, as often seen in A. longipes.
 Above picture showing two bracteoles with long stalks. Below picture showing the long linear leaves inherited from A. littoralis.