Vascular Plant Records 2012
In my article on Vascular Plant Record 2010 and 2011 (Worcestershire Record number 31, November 2011) I explained how local botanical recording had declined after the end of organised field work for the Worcestershire Flora Project. I made some suggestions about how we might reinvigorate plant recording through an e-mail group, but this idea received very little interest. We are still heavily reliant on a handful of stalwarts who provide the vast bulk of new records, so if anyone else can help, please e-mail me at email@example.com.
The Botanical Society for Britain & Ireland - theB.S.B.I.
The BSBI is the major national society for the study of vascular plants. It organises plant recording by vice-county, with our area (VC 37) looked after by joint recorders John Day and Bert Reid. The Worcester Flora Project covers a slightly different area with all of VC 37 plus the small areas of modern Worcestershire within neighbouring vice-counties. The BSBI runs many projects and details of these can be seen on their website (http://www.bsbi.org.uk/). One project is of particularly importance to our Worcestershire recording.
The Maps Scheme tries to plot the distribution of all taxa at hectad and/or tetrad level. The maps generated show different date classes with the recent class being 2010 to 2019, so we now three years in to the class. It is vital that we get as much information as possible in for the creation of Atlas 2020 at the end of the date class. We would like to receive any records for VC 37, ideally at 1x1km square level or closer. As always we need information of taxon, site, grid reference, date, recorder name, and comment where appropriate.
Table 1 shows the progress so far at hectad level for date class 2010-2019. It is incomplete, since not all records have yet been entered up, but it gives a reasonable overall picture.
The total of 14283 compares with the previous date class (2000-2009) total of 21823. We are therefore over 65% of a reasonable total. Additions in 2012 totaled 3310, with 535 in SP13, 258 in SO76, 256 in SP03, 255 in SO72, 250 in SO86, 233 in SP14, 157 in SP04, and 152 in SO88.
The main contributors to the maps scheme in the year were John Day, Bert Reid, Keith Barnett and Anne Daly plus many people on various field meetings.
Table 1 shows the progress so far in collecting records at hectad level for date class 2010-2019.
Important & Interesting Records - 2012
2012 was an interesting and unusual year for plant recording in the county. 12,885 records from 28 recorders reached the database: on the face of it this appears a healthy situation but the figures mask the reality. 6 of the recorders noted only single records with another 7 in single figure. Most of the other recorders only appear on the database in conjunction with John Day and others on various field meetings, and their records reached the database because John collated and submitted them. In truth, fewer than 10 people are actively recording plants and ensuring their entry. The top four recorders are responsible for 85% of the records.
The year had a bumper crop of rare and interesting plants. The Frog Orchid and Moonwort were dealt with in the last Worcestershire Record No. 33 November 2012, as were interesting plants in SP13 above Broadway. There were many other good finds that demand inclusion in this report. With my special interest in dandelions, I must highlight the four new dandelion species (plus one new to vc37). One of these, Taraxacum cherwellense, must compete with the Frog Orchid for plant of the year. This dandelion is a very rare endemic thought to be declining towards extinction. The national dandelion database now has a twelth record, in a new area. Most early records were from VC 23, best known from its type locality in the Oxford Parks where in was first collected in 1928 but was last seen in 1977. Since then there had only been one record, at Blakeney West Gloucestershire, in 1993. In any other year I would enthuse over the two other new natives. dandelions.
I will leave the other records listed below to speak for themselves. As always I am sure other people would have selected a different set of species and I am sorry if I have left out your favorites, but with so many to choose between I had to disappoint many people. In particular I decided to leave out new finds from previously known sites even though these essential for the Maps Scheme and may be rare plants.
In the record details below, “county” refers to the combined area of modern Worcestershire. The symbol * designates first published county records and # first post 1987 hectad records. A + against the species indicates that the taxon is not a native or archeophyte where recorded.
# Anthemis austriaca – Austrian Chamomile +
B4211 Hanley Castle Parish: SO8342: Keith Barnett conf. Bert Reid: About 100, grass or wildflower seeded verge. Second county site.
# Astrantia major – Astrantia +
Broadway disused railway: SP0838: Bert Reid: A small flowering patch in waste area at base by footpath.
Badsey Parish: SP0742: Terry Knight: 1 on NW side of track opposite nursery
* Bergenia x schmidtii – Elephant-ears +
Barnards Green area: SO7945: Keith Barnett: 1 on steep-side ditch bank outside garden, seeming unlikely to have been planted. First county record.
Botrichium lunaria – Moonwort
Lodge Hill Meadow, Wyre Forest: SO7945: John Robinson: one plant - details in Worcestershire Record No. 33.
# Coeloglossum viride – Frog Orchid
Armley Bank, Broadway: SP1136: Roger Maskew: seven plants in limestone grassland at the foot of steep bank, also seen later by Bert Reid. First county record since 1979 - details in Worcestershire Record no. 33.
# Cosmos bipinnatus – Mexican Aster +
Longdon Parish, S of Longdon: SO8435: Keith Barnett: one growing through tarmac pavement near garden, in flower / fruit. 4th county record.
# Cuscuta campestris – Yellow Dodder +
Lambs Farm, Coles Green: SO7651: S. Benjamin det. Tim Rich: On Niger and other plants under bird table in garden. Photographs and voucher in National Museum of Wales. 2nd county record.
Eleogiton fluitans – Floating Club-rush
Hitterhill Copice, Wyre Forest: SO7675: John Bingham: About a dozen small clumps, small pool backwater, about 0.5km SE of previous record near Lodgehill Farm.
* Erigeron annuus – Tall Fleabane +
Wollaston Old Iron Foundry Site: SO8984: Anne Daly: At least seven plants, more than confirmed record in 2011, still not on database. First county record.
* Eryngium planum – Blue Eryngo +
Holloway, Pershore Town: SO9346: Bert Reid: one large plant just coming into flower, growing on verge at base of street light – no sign in nearby gardens. First county record.
# Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus – Eastern Gladiolus
Morton Stanley Park: SP0265: Ms. G Thomas det. John Day: two flowering spikes about 50m apart in rough grassland near hedgerow, not seen here previously.
Red House Meadow, Eldersfield: SO7930: Recorders field Meeting (John Day, Bert Reid, Brett Westwood et al): 10 to 20 plants. 3rd and4th county records.
# Guizotia abyssinica – Niger +
Lambs Farm, Coles Green: SO7651: S. Benjamin det. Tim Rich: Under bird table in garden with Cuscuta campestris. 5th county site.
Hieracium sylvularum – Ample-toothed Hawkweed +
The Bank Middle Hill & Armley Bank Wood: SP1134 & SP1136: Bert Reid: Several plants in two new sites.
Hypochaeris glabra – Smooth Cat’s-ear
MOD Oil Pumping Station Titton: SO8269: John Day: Several flowering plants in mown sandy grassland. Threatened plant last seen in this hectad in 1992.
Malcolmia maritime – Virginia Stock +
B4211 Hanley Castle Parish: SO8342: Keith Barnett: Locally frequent, grass or wildflower seeded verge. 5th county record.
# Nonea lutea – Yellow Nonea +
Red House, Eldersfield: SO7930: Recorders field Meeting (John Day, Bert Reid, Brett Westwood , Ms A.Fells): Established as garden weed in several places.
Pershore Town: SO9445: Bert Reid: Several in flower as garden escape on track by house to rear garage.
3rd & 4th county records.
* Oryzopsis miliacea – Smilo-grass +
Priory Park, Great Malvern: SO7745: Keith Barnett det. T.A.Cope: 2, pavement crack, clear escape from garden, in fruit. First county record.
# Phuopsis stylosa - Caucasian Crosswort +
Red House, Eldersfield, grounds & gardens: SO7930: Recorders field Meeting (John Day, Bert Reid, Brett Westwood, Ms A.Fells): Established and showing signs of natural spread, likely from imported stock. 4th county record.
# Phygelius capensis – Cape Figwort +
Wollaston,near VicarageRoad: SO8885: Anne Daly det. Mike Poulton: one plant, under hedge. 2nd county record.
# Polypogon monspeliensis - Annual Beard-grass +
A461 High Street Wollaston: SO8984: Anne Daly: nine plants in pavement by doorsteps and lamp-post. 4th county site,
* Polystichum munitum - Western Sword-fern +
Bewdley, alley between houses: SO7874: Brett Westwood, Field Meeting Wyre Forest Study Group: One plant in shady alley with Male Fern & Harts Tongue Fern. First county record.
Prunella lacinata - Cut-leaved Selfheal +
The Banks Cambridge Farm: SO7836: John Day: On steep south facing slope - 100+ plants occur across the whole bank from SO78243670 to SO78353670 but with the densest concentration in the west. At date of visit only rosettes were found but several were taken and grown on. All produced pure lacinata flowers, no hybrids were found. New county site.
# Rubus odoratus - Purple-flowered Raspberry +
St Wulstans NR, Malvern Wells: SO7841: Keith Barnett: Spreading patch, very possibly relic. 2nd county record.
# Scilla siberica - Siberian Squill +
Great Malvern: SO7846: Keith Barnett: About 30, naturalised in grassy verge, in flower. 5th county record.
# Scrophularia vernalis – Yellow Figwort +
Red House Eldersfield, grounds & gardens: SO7930: Recorders field Meeting (John Day, Bert Reid, Brett Westwood, Ms A.Fells): About 5 plants in shady corner - reported as not intentionally introduced by owner. First recent county record.
# Smyrnium perfoliatum - Perfoliate Alexanders +
Red House, Eldersfield, grounds & gardens: SO7930: Recorders field Meeting (John Day, Bert Reid, Brett Westwood, Ms A.Fells): Established and showing signs of natural spread, likely from imported stock. 2nd county record.
# Taraxacum angulare – Angular-lobed Dandelion +
Appletree Lane, Inkberrow: John Day det. Bert Reid conf. John Richards: Grass verge. 2nd county site for this rare dandelion,.
* Taraxacum cherwellense – Cherwell Dandelion
Upton Snodsbury Parish: SO9453: Bert Reid det. John Richards : Wide grass footpath by arable. First county record. AJR states that "This is a most important record for one of our rarest endemics. Please return and survey!!". See Fig. 1.
# Taraxacum diastematicum – Bulbous-lobed Dandelion +
Lane Shrawley to Hillhampton: SO7765: John Day det. Bert Reid conf. John Richards: Grass verge south side. 3rd county record.
# Taraxacum exsertiforme – Erect-bracted Dandelion +
A4104, SO84, Marsh Common: SO8942: Bert Reid conf. John Richards: Road verge. 3rd county record.
* Taraxacum inopinatum – Unexpected Dandelion
Cambridge Farm, Birts Street, Corner Bank: SO7836: Dry CG3 grassland, steep slope. First county record.
# Taraxacum lunare – Lunar-lobed Dandelion +
Honeybee Public House, Doverdale Lane: SO8566: John Day det. Bert Reid conf. John Richards: Grass verge to car park. 3rd county record.
# Taraxacum melanthoides – Bluish-leaved Dandelion
Heightington Lane: SO7869: John Day det. Bert Reid conf. John Richards: Sandy hedgebank north side - two plants collected. 2nd county record. First record in VC37.
# Taraxacum necessarium – Dark-leaved Dandelion +
Upton Snodsbury Parish: SO9453: Bert Reid conf. John Richards: Wide grass footpath by arable. 2nd county record
# Taraxacum scotiniforme – Deltoid-lobed Dandelion +
Trimpley Lane: SO7980: John Day det. John Richards: Woodbank east side. 2nd county record.
# Taraxacum sublongisqameum – Roadside Dandelion +
A443 Hylton Road by Sabrina Bridge: SO8455: John Day det. John Richards: 3rd county record.
* Taraxacum subnaevosum – Pale-bracted Dandelion
A4189 Henley Road, Oldberrow: SP1265: John Day det. John Richards: 4 plants collected as part of a colony extending over about 100 m of grass road verge, most on south side, less on north. 1st county record for this normally northern species.
* Taraxacum sundbergii – Sundberg’s Dandelion +
Lincomb Lane: SO8269: John Day det. John Richards: Hedgebank east side. First county record for this rare alien.
# Veronica perigrina – American Speedwell +
Stone Cottage Gardens plant nursery: SO8674: Brett Westwood: A few, gravel paths. 2nd county record.
Fig. 1. Taraxacum cherwellense herbarium specimen. Bert Reid