Worcestershire Record No. 25 November 2008 pp. 28-30

VASCULAR PLANT RECORDS FOR 2007 - Worcestershire Flora Project

Bert Reid

This yearís highlights

It might be thought that after 20 years of recording for the flora project, there would be little left to find in our area, and it is true that few new good sites for native plants are now coming to light. Nevertheless in 2007 we managed to get about 200 post-1987 records of plants new at the hectad level. Most of these were aliens, either garden escapes or casuals, or difficult or critical plants such as hybrids and dandelions.

One interesting new site came to light when Rosemary Winnall managed to arrange a visit to the strictly controlled Roxel works at Summerfield. John Day and Bert Reid joined her, and after a half hour health and safety briefing the large site was investigated in the company of a minder. It proved to be a very interesting area, with locally dominant Trifolium subterraneum on close-mown turf. Other interesting plants here included Cerastium arvense, C.diffusum, C.semidecandrum, Festuca filiformis, Ornithopus perpusillus and Trifolium striatum.

Another good site was discovered by Keith Barnett; a small wood by Danemoor Cross, Welland. Here he found a colony of 200+ plants of Cardamine impatiens and several patches of Ceratocapnos claviculata, the latter new to the hectad. This wood is not obviously rich and demonstrates the importance of investigating even seemingly boring sites.

Waste ground sites come and go, but may occasionally throw up rare and exotic plants in their usually short life. Roger Maskew found such a site south of the A443 by Perhill Plants nursery. He was rewarded with a rich mix of hortal, arable and ruderal plants including a first county record for Cynara cardunculus var scolymus, a first recent record for Trifolium aureum, and new hectad records for Echium vulgare, Lepidium campestre and Verbena bonariensis.

Mrs Olivia Chance had for many years been puzzled by a tree growing on a road verge by on old orchard, now a sheep pasture, in Kemerton. The mystery was finally solved in 2007, when a visit from the British Arboreal Society led to a specimen being sent to Dr Spencer at the Natural History Museum. He confirmed that the tree was the inter-generic hybrid between hawthorn and medlar, x Crataemespilus grandiflora. This is a rare hybrid and is a new record for our area and V.C. 33. Interestingly, the same parents can also combine as a chimera or graft hybrid when medlar is grown on hawthorn stock.

Also new to the county were Dorycnium hirsutum found growing on a pavement in Barnards Green by Keith Barnett, and Lathyrus sativus, found by Mike Poulton on a soil heap in an abandoned filling station at Tyseley. The first of these is a garden escape while the second probably originates from bird-seed. Other interesting alien records include three plants of Anthemis punctata found on rocks at Wyche Cutting by Keith Barnett, a young sapling of Corylus maxima John Day found in Knighton Churchyard, Mike Poultonís Lavatera arborea on a rough grassland verge in Northfield, John Dayís Vicia villosa at Aston Fields Industrial Estate, and two sites for Polypogon viridis in Acocks Green and a third in Bromsgrove.

Some plants are clearly spreading, the most striking example being Conyza sumatrensis, found in another four hectads in 2007. Mike Poultonís Yardley Wood record for Conyza bilbaoana suggests that this plant may also spread. Bassia scoparia has been creeping north along the M5 for several years, at last reaching Worcestershire by the Strensham Service Station where it was seen by Bert Reid. The same observer found the third site for Poa infirma, a good patch on a garden / road interface at Lower Moor. Echium plantagineum seems to be spreading with two new arable sites at Liveridge and Mount Pleasant.

Roger Maskew can normally be relied on to find several difficult or critical plants and this year was no exception. On Castlemorton Common he collected two good hybrid willowherbs, a first county record of Epilobium x schmidtianum and a third post-1987 record for E. x dacicum. His work with marsh orchids produced new sites for Dactylorhiza x transiens (Castlemorton Common), D. x grandis (Malvern Common) and D. praetermissa (Green Hayes Pature by Cadmore Brook). Of other orchids, it was a good year for Ophrys apifera, with new post-1987 hectad records in Mayfield Road Malvern and Crookbarrow Way Worcester.

Taraxacum had a very successful year with no less than seven new county records. National expert John Richards spent a day in the county with Bert Reid and this produced two of the new species, Taraxacum akteum on Smithmoor Common and T. necessarium on Marsh Common. Also found was T. corynodes on a lane bank near Porters Mill, a second Worcestershire record but new for v.c. 37. The other new dandelions were Bert Reidís T. latens from a road verge at Whittington, and four collected by John Day; T. adiantifrons on the verge of Dark Lane Astley, T. fusciflorum from the verge of Trench Lane Dunhampstead, T. retroflexum from a hedgebank near Abberley and T. valens from his own garden at Stoke Prior. Four other species produced second county records that are shown in the detailed records and we have developed a much better understanding of the distribution of some of the commoner dandelion species. Nearly half the new hectad records for the year were dandelions.

As always, the choice of plant of the year is difficult, with a good number of excellent candidates, but I have chosen a nationally and internationally rare native species of good habitats never before found in the county. That is Taraxacum akteum. This species was peviously known from slightly saline maritime meadows in the Netherlands, single sites in Hampshire, Northamptonshire and Monmouthshire and a very few places in Oxfordshire. It is treated as vulnerable in the most recent vascular plant red data book. It grows on wet flood plain unimproved grassland, an important habitat in Worcestershire. The choice of this species can also be seen as celebrating breaking the 150 species barrier. Worcestershire (v.c. 37) now has more dandelion species expertly determined that any othe vice-county.

Detailed Records

KEY:

  * First published record for vc37 / Worcestershire
# First post-1987 for hectad concerned
+ Species which is not a native / archeophyte of the British Isles
0 Species which though native / archeophyte in some parts of the British Isles is not so in the locality where recorded

Nomenclature follows the second edition of Clive Staceís New Flora of the British Isles (1997), and finds were made in 2007 unless otherwise stated. All references to first, second etc. records refer to published records only.

Alopecurus myosuroides: # 1082, abandoned filling station, Reddings Lane Tysesley (MWP). A rare plant in urban Birmingham.

+ Anthemis punctata: # 7643, 3 on rocks at Wyche Cutting (KB). 4th record for this garden escape.

+ Atriplex hortensis: # 9159, 1 large plant, disturbed verge of Netherwood Lane (JJD)

+ Barbarea stricta: 8842, about 10 plants in ditch by Dunstall Common (KB). Last recorded from site 50+ years ago.

+ Bassia scoparia: # 9040, 1 large plant on entrance slip to M5 service station (AWR). 4th record.

+ Bromopsis inermis ssp inermis: # 1045, abundant in arable headland South Littleton (KB, JJD & AWR)

Bromus hordeaceus ssp longipedicellatus: # 0946, locally frequent in field by Blakes Hill (KB, JJD & AWR)

+ Bromus lepidus: # 9142, locally frequent on embankment of road bridge / railway Defford (AWR)

Cardamine impatiens: # 8040 colony of 200+ plants in woodland at Danemoor Cross (KB)

Carduus tenuiflorus: # 7464, small clump in grassland by drive to Birch Berrow (JJD)

Ceratocapnos claviculata: # 8040, several patches in dry woodland at Danemoor Cross (KB)

+ Ceratochloa cathartica: # 9467, about 3 small clumps on grass verge of Prior Avenue Stoke Prior (JJD)

Chrysosplenium oppositifolium: # 8043, substantial patch in Lower Arles Wood (KB)

+ Conyza bilbaoana: # 1179, pavement of Blythsford Road Yardley Wood (MWP). 3rd record.

+ Conyza sumatrensis: # 8262, Holt Heath (RM): # 9652, Naunton Fields (AWR): # 9671, bank of Spadesbourne Brook (JJD): # 0178, 0278, 0678, various sites (MWP). Four new hectads.

+ Corylus maxima: # 6369, young sapling near planted parent in Knighton churchyard (JJD)

* + x Crataemespilus grandiflora: # 9437, one well-grown tree on verge by old orchard now sheep pasture, Kemerton village (v.c.33) (Mrs O.Chance det. Dr M.A.Spencer). 1st local record for this unusual inter-generic hybrid.

*+ Cynara cardunculus var scolymus: # 7665, waste ground south of A443 by plant nursery (RM). 1st county record.

+ Cyperus eragrostis: # 9445, waste ground by A4104 Pershore (AWR).

Dactylorhiza x transiens (D. fuchsii x maculata): # 7739, 2 plants on Castlemorton Common (RM)

Dactylorhiza x grandis (D. fuchsii x praetermissa): # 7844, 20 plants on Malvern Common (RM).

Dactylorhiza praetermissa: # 5765, 15 plants in Green Hayes Pasture by Cadmore Brook (RM): # 1244, 1 in wet area by garden pond Church Honeybourne, status uncertain (TDK)

* + Dorycnium hirsutum: # 7945, 1 on pavement / foot of wall Barnards Green (KB). 1st county record.

+ Echinochloa crusgalli: # 8045, substantial clump in gutter of Barnards Green to Guarlford road (KB)

0 Echium plantagineum: # 7772, 100+ plants along edge of wood and on track through set-aside field at Liveridge, Ribbesford (BW): # 8074, about 10 plants in clover / grass ley on Mount Pleasant (BW & AWR).

Echium vulgare: # 7665, waste ground south of A443 by plant nursery (RM)

* Epilobium x schmidtianum (E. obscurum x palustre): # 7739, Castlemorton Common (RM det. G.D.Kitchener). 1st county record.

Epilobium x dacicum (E. obscurum x parviflorum): # 7739, Castlemorton Common (RM det. G.D.Kitchener). 3rd post-1987 record.

Epilobium roseum: # 0153, Rous Lench Church (JJD): # 1082, edge of shrub border A34 Stratford Road (MWP).

+ Euphorbia characias ssp characias: # 8862, 2 plants on dumped soil on edge of playing fields, Droitwich (AWR)

+ Heracleum mantegazzianum: # 1346, 1 plant by roadside ditch, Pebworth (v.c. 33) (TDK)

+ Hypericum hircinum: # 0580, 1 in steps of footbridge over Worcester and Birmingham Canal (MWP)

 

+ Inula helenium: # 6469, 20 plants in cutting of A443 (JJD)

+ Iris germanica: # 6364, 2 plants by Kyre Lower Pool (RM)

*+ Lathyrus sativus: # 1082, 1 on abandoned filling station at Reddings Lane Tyseley (MWP det E.J.Clement). 1st county record.

+ Lavatera arborea: # 0279, rough grassland verge of Mill Lane Northfield (MWP)

Lepidium campestre: # 7665, one plant, waste ground south of A443 by plant nursery (RM)

+ Lilium martagon: # 9362, six flowering plants naturalised by footpath near pond at Belt Covert, Hanbury Park (AWR)

+ Lupinus arboreus: # 8042, one young plant on disturbed verge of B4209 Hanley Swan (KB)

+ Melilotus indicus: 8045, 1 in gutter at Hall Green (KB). 4th post-1987 record.

+ Nicandra physalodes: # 9668, one on disturbed ground, Aston Fields Industrial Estate (JJD)

Ophrys apifera: # 7946, about 20 in short grass waste area off Mayfield Road Malvern (KB): # 8752, two on road bank of A4440 Crookbarrow Way (AWR)

Poa infirma: 9847, good patch on road edge of garden on Salters Lane Lower Moor (AWR). 3rd county record.

+ Phalaris aquatica: # 8262, spoil heap at Holt Heath (RM): # 0946, rare in ley by Blakes Hill (KB, JJD & AWR): # 1045 &1046, 3 arable fields in Littletons (KB, JJD & AWR)

+ Phalaris paradoxa: # 8042, disturbed road verge near Hanley Swan (KB det. RM)

+ Picris echioides: # 6469, in cutting of A443 (JJD)

+ Polypogon viridis: # 9570, wall base B4091 Bromsgrove (JJD): # 1281, two sites in Acocks Green (MWP & ICT). 3rd to 5th county records.

0 Prunus padus: # 8842, 1 mature planted tree in wooded area of Dunstall Common (KB)

Puccinellia distans: 7945, several in gutter of Barnards Green to Guarlford road (KB)

+ Pseudosaga japonica: # 9671, established and spreading by Spadebourne Brook, North Worcestershire College Reserve (JJD)

Ranunculus hederaceus: # 6563, Little Frog End Pool (v.c. 36) (RM)

+ Rosmarinus officinalis: # 0580, foot of brickwork of garden wall, A441 Pershore Road (MWP)

+ Saxifraga x urbium (S. spathularis x umbrosa): # 7743, about 10 plants spreading beneath laurel hedge, Hanley Terrace, Malvern Wells (KB)

+ Solidago gigantea: # 7947, one clump on verge of Townsend Way Malvern (KB)

Spergularia rubra: # 1486, gravelly area in Kents Moat Recreation Ground (MWP & ICT)

* + Taraxacum adiantifrons: # 7968, grass verge of Dark Lane Astley (JJD det. A.J.Richards). 1st county record

* Taraxacum akteum: # 8741, damp grassland on Smithmoor Common (AWR & A.J.Richards). 1st county record

+ Taracacum corynodes: # 8660, bank of lane from Porters Mill to Walnut Tree (AWR & A.J.Richards). 2nd county record, 1st for v.c.37

* + Taraxacum fusciflorum: # 9160, grass verge of Trench Lane, Dunhampstead (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 1st county record.

+ Taraxacum huelphersianum: # 8741, side of lane to Smithmoor Common (AWR & A.J.Richards). 2nd county record

* + Taraxacum latens: # 8752, road verge at Whittington near M5 roundabout (AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 1st county record.

* + Taraxacum necessarium: # 8942, unimproved grassland, Marsh Common (AWR & A.J.Richards). 1st county record

+ Taraxacum nitidum: # 0367, open ground by Adelaide Street Redditch (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record.

+ Taraxacum prionum: # 8657, spoil bank between canal and golf course, Perdiswell (AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record

+ Taraxacum pseudoretroflexum: # 7264, grass bank of lane from Stanford Bridge to Shelsley Beauchamp (JJD det. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record

* + Taraxacum retroflexum: # 7668, hedgebank of lane from Abberley village to Dick Brook bridge (JJD det. A.J.Richards). 1st county record

* + Taraxacum valens: # 9467, flower-bed in garden, Stoke Prior (JJD det. A.J.Richards). 1st county record

+ Trifolium aureum: # 7665, one large plant on waste ground south of A443 by plant nursery (RM). 1st post-1987 record.

Trifolium subterraneum: 8373, locally dominant in mown turf, Roxel Works Summerfield (JJD, AWR & RAW)

Valerianella locusta: # 0287, 2 on pavement of The Fordrough Northfield (MWP)

+ Verbascum densiflorum: # 0063, one on spoil mound by Cruisehill Lane Feckenham (JJD)

+ Vicia villosa: # 9668, large clump by earth bund in Aston Fields Industrial Estate (JJD)

Recorder initials:

AWR

Bert Reid

 

MWP

Mile Poulton

BW

Brett Westwood

 

RAW

Rosemary Winnall

ICT

Ian Trueman

 

RM

Roger Maskew

JJD

John Day

 

TDK

Terry Knight

KB

Keith Barnett