Worcestershire Record No. 28. April 2010


Worcestershire Flora Project. This year’s (2008) highlights

Bert Reid

2008 was a somewhat quieter year for plant recording in Worcestershire but still produced around 160 new post-1987 hectad records. As is now usual, garden escapes, casuals and difficult taxa accounted for the majority, with dandelions making half of the total. It is pleasing that although few botanists are now regularly recording in the county, we are still finding a good number of interesting and unusual plants.

It seemsthat in almost every year a new site is found where the activities of man produce a new set of casuals that often disappear as quickly as they had arrived. Peter Garner found this year’s site at Bransford, where large quantities of soil had been dumped by the edge of the golf-course. Here he found Senecio inaequidens in its second published site in the county. A later visit with Roger Maskew produced more good plants, two of them new to Worcestershire. One was Hyssopus officinalis, but the other, a Vicia sp., proved very difficult to identify. It was eventually determined by Eric Clement asVicia palaestina, only its second British record. More details can be seen in BSBI News No. 111, April 2009. Senecio inaequidens seems to be increasing, with another found on an arable margin at Blackstone by Brett Westwood and Harry Green, and several more during recording for the Birminham and Black Country flora (details not yet available)

When Bert Reid was entering records from the national dandelion collection that had been lodged with the National Museum of Wales, he came across a Worcestershire record for a species he did not recognise. This was Taraxacum violascens with a specimen collected in 1994 by Merle Marsden from a grassy field at Chaceley Stock. I queried the record with John Richards as it was not mentioned in the Handbook and had not found its way on to the national database and he confirmed that he had identified the specimen. This is still the only British record for the species.

The 2008 dandelion records were mainly collections by John Day and / or Bert Reid. These included the first Worcestershire record for Taraxacum fagerstroemiion an arable grass margin by a track near Outwood, and second county records for T. adiantifrons on the grassy edge of scrub at Hawkesley, T. oellgaardii in permanent pasture at Seeley Ford Meadow, T. retroflexum on disturbed ground by a footway at Hawkesley and T. valens on the verge of Icknield Street Drive, Redditch. There were also third county records for T. hesperium, T. prionum and T. subcyanolepis. Probably the most interesting of these dandelions is the oellgaardii, a scarce British endemic of rich meadows.

Harry Green’s garden often seems to turn up a number of interesting plants, and 2008 was no exception. On a visit there, Brett Westwood spotted about eight small patches of Erodium maritimum growing on a gravelled area at the end of the garden drive. The provenance of these plants is not known but they may have been accidentally introduced on a car driven from the Pembrokeshire coast in 2006. This species had not been noted in Worcestershire since 1950. On the same gravelled area was also a small patch of Cerastium diffusum, not otherwise known in the vicinity.

Keith Barnett found a first county record for another Erodium species, this being 2 plants of E. trifolium growing on builder’s rubble by a surgery in Malvern. It is clearly of horticultural origin but this North African plant of rocky habitats is not commonly grown, needing a dry sunny site protected from winter wet. It is never likely to be other than a rare casual in the UK. Another cultivar recorded by Keith was a plant of the Acutilobum Group of Polystichum setiferum from The Dingle, Hollybush, a second record for the county.

Galium parisiense is considered an introduction in our area and may be increasing locally. John Day found it in our fourth and fifth county sites during the year: a railway cutting at Salwarpe and a lane bank between Blakenhall and Cookley, where it was locally frequent. Another good find by John was our fourth record of Poa infirma, on a grass verge by a footway on Spring Lane Industrial Estate, Malvern.

Rye Street Meadow has long been known as a good site for Dactylorhiza orchids, so it was very pleasing when Roger Maskew and Keith Barnett noticed an intermediate specimen that Roger considered to be the hybrid between D. maculata and D. praetermissa (D. x hallii). A specimen was collected and the identification confirmed by R.M.Bateman, the national referee. This is the first time that this difficult hybrid has been expertly confirmed in the county.

Roger Maskew produced several more excellent records The hybrid Rosa arvensis x sherardii is nationally rare and this year at Lye Head he found examples with both arvensis and sherardii as the female parent, the first time we had recorded the latter. His record for Carex x fulva from the Park Brook in Wyre Forest was only the second known site for the county. At Eymore Wood he managed to re-find Festuca altissima where it had not been recorderd since 1990. At Hill Court Farm NR, Longdon Marsh, he added 3 new post 1987 hectad records for SO83 with Calamagrostis epigejos, Juncus subnodulosus and Zannichellia palustris.

Another excellent find of a native species was Eleogiton fluitans recorded by John Bingham from a small pool in Town Coppice, Wyre Forest. The pool is in an area recently cleared of Rhododendrons. This plant is scarce and declining in Worcestershire, and until this record was thought to be extant in only one place (Castlemorton Common).

The plant I have chosen as plant of the year is another native with a fascinating history in the county. It is the Yellow Bird’s-nest, Monotropa hypopitys discovered by Oliver Pescott in a good colony by the canal towpath in Selly Oak. This species has shown a serious national decline and is now classed as endangered. In Worcestershire it has always been scarce with only one or two sites known in any decade, amd with the last known site on Bishampton Bank in 1989. The Selly Oak record is unusual in both geographical position and habitat. Previous records have been mainly in a band from the south-ast towards the north-west and have mostly been in woodland, usually under beech. The new record is on a lightly wooded / scrubby bank in a urban area in the north-east corner of the county.

Detailed Records

*   First published record for vc37 / Worcestershire
#  First post-1987 for hectad concerned
+  Specieswhich 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 Stace’s New Flora of the British Isles (1997), and finds were made in 2008 unless otherwise stated. All references to first, second etc. records refer to published records only.

Achillea ptarmica: # 9445, small patch in recently created wetland area, Abbey Park, Pershore – possibly introduced (AWR).
+ Allium triquetrum: # 8641, about 20 plants on road verge, Earls Croome Parish (KB).
+ Anemone apennina: # 0980, 1 on mown verge of Highfield Road, Yardley Wood (JJD)
Apium graveolens: # 8340, a couple of plants, verge of Hyde Lane, Upton upon Severn (R.W.Tavender)
+ Arum italicum: # 8736, several on road verge opposite house, The Bow, Ripple (KB)
+ Bromopsis inernis: # 7732, extensive roadside patch, Kings Green Redmarley (KB)
Callitriche platycarpa: # 7835, field pond, Rye Street Meadow (KB & RM)
Calamagrostis epigejos: # 8235, Hill Court Farm NR, Longdon Marsh (RM)
+ Campanula medium: # 0245, 1 on earth bank between new and old road, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 4th post-1987 record.
Carduus tenuiflorus: # 8737, locally abundant on base margin of sandy maize field, near Ripple (KB)
Carex x fulva (C. hostiana x viridula): # 7576, by Park Brook (RM), 2nd county site.
Cerastium diffusum: # 9643, small patch on gravelled area of garden drive, Little Comberton (BW & GHG conf. AWR)
+ Cerinthe major: # 8962, 2, pavement edge / wall base, Corbett Street Droitwich (JJD). 3rd county record.
+ Chionodoxa forbesii: # 0163, 1 in native grass verge, Cruisehill Lane Feckenham (JJD)
+ Cyclamen coum: # 7845, About 20, grassland of Great Malvern Cemetery (KB)
Dactylorhiza x grandis (D.fuchsii x praetermissa): # 7578, 2 in flush at Pound Green Common vc39 with both parents (RM)
* Dactylorhiza x hallii (D. maculata x praetermissa): # 7835, many flowering in Rye Street Meadow (KB & RM conf. R.M.Bateman). 1st confirmed county record.
Eleogiton fluitans: # 7576, small pool in area recently cleared of Rhododendrons and opened up, Town Coppice, Wyre Forest (JB conf. JJD). 4th post-1987 site (2nd extant).
Erodium maritimum: # 9643, about 8 small patches on gravelled area of garden drive, Little Comberton (BW & GHG conf. AWR). 1st post-1987 record.
* Erodium trifolium: # 7846, 2 in flower and fruit on builder’s rubble at surgery, Pickersleigh Road Malvern (KB det. E.J.Clement). 1st county record.
Festuca altissima: 7780, 26 tufts on bank by stream in Eymore Wood where last recorded in 1990 (RM)
Filago vulgaris: # 8446, thousands in bare ground by track in quarry, Clifton (RM & KB)
0 Galium parisiense: # 8761, occasional on railway cutting, Salwarpe (JJD): # 8381, locally frequent on bank of lane Blakenhall to Cookley (JJD). 4th & 5th county records.
Geranium columbinum: # 8736, 2, grassy road verge, The Bow Ribble (KB)
*+ Hyssopus officinalis: # 7952, 2 small shrubs on dumped soil, Bransford (RM). 1st counry record.
Juncus x diffusus (J. effusus x inflexus): # 7838 & 7839, Castlemorton Common (JJD)
Juncus subnodulosus: # 8234, Hill Court Farm NR, Longdon Marsh (RM)
Monotropa hypopitys subsp hypophegea: # 0482, good sized colony on verge of canal towpath, Selly Oak (O.Pescott conf. JJD). 2nd post-1987 site.
+ Nemesia caerulea: #9245, several plants on pavement edge, New Road Pershore (AWR). 2nd county site.
Nitella flexilis / opaca: # 9875, abundant in fairly shaded pond formed by damming brook in wood, Spinneyfields (A.Fells det. AWR)
Papaver rhoeas var. pryori: # 8342, 1, road verge, Hanley Swan (KB). 1st record away from Malvern area.
Poa compressa: # 0467, St George the Martyr Church, Redditch (JJD)
Poa infirma: # 7847, 50 on grass verge by footway, Spring Lane Industrial Estate Malvern (JJD). 4th county site.
Polygala serpyllifolia: # 8154, St Thomas Church, Crown East (JJD)
Polygonum rurivagum: # 8066, several in fruit on disturbed sandy ground, Shrawley Wood (JJD & AWR)
Polystichum setiferum ‘Acutilobum Group’: # 7736, 1, The Dingle, Hollybush, date 2007 (KB det. RM conf. M.H.Rickard). 2nd county record
Potentilla argentea: # 7536, masses on verge of A438, Hollybush (PGG)
Rosa micrantha: # 6665, Highwood (RM)
Rosa arvensis x sherardii: 7572, Lye Head, both arvensis and sherardii as female parent (RM). 3rd and 4th record, 1st with arvensis as female parent.
+ Rosmarinus officinalis: # 8962, self-sown on garden wall, Corbett Street Droitwich (JJD)
+ Senecio inaequidens: # 7952, about 40 plants on dumped soil, Bransford (PGG conf.RM): # 7974, arable margin, WWT reserve at Upper Blackstone Farm (BW & GHG). 2nd & 3rd county records.
Stellaria pallida: # 0467, thinly grassed verge, The Holloway Redditch (JJD)
Symphytum officinale: # 7735, small patch on damp road verge near ditch, Camers Greeen (KB)
+ Taraxacum adiantifroms: # 0477, grassy edge of scrub east of Shannon Road, Hawkesley (AWR, JJD et al conf. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record
Taraxacum expallidiforme: # 9471, grass bank, Perryfield Road Bromsgrove (JJD det. A.J. Richards): # 1348, grass bank, Dorsington Road Pebworth vc33 (JJD det. A.J.Richards). 4th & 5th county records.
*+ Taraxacum fagerstroemii: # 9072, grass margin to arable by track to Tagg Barn, Outwood (JJD det. A.J.Richards). 1st county record
Taraxacum hesperium: # 9987, verge of allotments by Farm Road, Langley Green (AWR et al det A.J.Richards). 3rd county record.
Taraxacum oellgaardii: # 9660, mesic permanent pasture, Seeley Ford Meadow (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record.
+ Taraxacum planum: # 9263, grass verge of track to Westfields Farm, Dodderhill (JJD det. AWR). 4th county record.
+ Taraxacum prionum: # 0280, damp grassland near Merritt’s Brook, Manor Park (AWR et al conf. A.J.Richards). 3rd county record
+ Taraxacum quadrans: # 1282, scrubby bank by Round Pool, Fox Hollies Park (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 5th county record
+ Taraxacum retroflexum: # 0478, disturbed ground by footway, Foyle Road Hawkesley (AWR, JJD et al conf. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record
Taraxacum subcyanolepis: # 9660, mesic permanent pasture, Seeley Ford Meadow (JJD det.. A.J.Richards). 3rd county record.
+ Taraxacum valens: # 0665, grass verge of B4497 Icknield Street Drive vc38 (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 2nd local record.
*+ Taraxacum violascens: # 8629, grassy field , Chaceley Stock, date 1994 (M.V.Marsden det. A.J.Richards). 1st and only British record – specimen in NMW.
* + Vicia palaestina: # 7952, dumped soil, Bransford (RM det. E.J.Clement). 1st counry record.
Vicia sativa subsp. sativa: #7634, 3 on grassy road verge, Chase End Street (KB)
Zannichellia palustris:# 8234, Hill Court Farm NR, Longdon Marsh (RM)

Recorder initials

AWR - Bert Reid
KB - Keith Barnett
BW - Brett Westwood
PGG - Peter Garner
GHG - Harry Green
RM - Roger Maskew
JB - John Bingham
TDK - Terry Knight
JJD - John Day

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