Worcestershire Record No. 28. April 2010


Worcestershire Flora Project. This year’s (2009) highlights

Bert Reid

2009 was another quiet year for plant recording in Worcestershire with fewer records than usual submitted, but there were still around 135 new post-1987 hectad records (including 51 dandelions). These records included no less than 9 new county records and several other very good finds.

The ruderal site of the year, found by Bert Reid, was by the B4624 near its junction with the A44 north-west of Evesham, where the road had been altered at the juction a few years ago, leaving about 100m of parallel roads. Following unauthorised parking by travellers, an earth bund was dumped between the roads, with more soil being added in 2009 giving a linear barrier about a metre tall. This produced a quite extraordinary mix of plants throughout the season. Some of the soil had clearly come from market garden land, with an abundance of Raphanus sativus and Lactuca sativa (a mix of red and green var. crispa plants) coming up. Two new county records here were French bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, and garden carrot, Daucus carota ssp. sativus. Other uncommon plants presumed from the same source included Cicer arientum, Coriandrum sativum, Cucurbita pepo, Lepidium sativum, Pisum sativum and Spinacia oleracea.

Another group of plants here are normally associated with bird-seed. Phalaris canariensis and Helianthus annuus were common, being joined by a few Cannabis sativa, a fifth county site for Carthamus tinctorius, a fourth site for Guizotia abyssinica and a few plants of Nicandra physalodes. Add to this horticultural plants like Cerinthe major (4th couinty record), Clarkia unguiculata (3rd county record) and Sidalca malviflora (5th county record), a cultivar of Malva sylvestis and the hybrid Viola ‘Jackanapes’ and it is clear that this site is quite exceptional. Interestingly, our 3rd site for Guizotia abyssinica was also in 2009, found by Keith Barnett at the edge of a maize field by Lower Howsell.

Keith Barnett has an excellent eye for garden escapes and this year was no exception. Just outside the entrance to the sewage treatment works at Madresfield, he found 2 plants of Knautia macedonica, a distinctive red-flowered garden escape never before noted in Worcestershire. An even more extraordinary record by Keith was a well-established patch of Lysimachia thyrsifolia in a field pond near Hanley Swan. This is a native plant of fens and swamps in the Scottish Borders and (very rarely) Northern England. It has never before been seen in the county and is clearly an introduction with us, though its history here is not known.

John Day had his usual crop of good records, including a first county record of Doronicum x willdenowii on a road verge at Tutnall, and a second record for Aethusa cynapium subsp. agrestis in stubble near Himbleton Manor. He also found several new hectad records such as Agrostis vinealis, Cerastium diffusum, Juncus tenuis and Luzula x borreri.

New dandelion records seem to come up every year, and 2009 was particularly good. John Day found three new county records, Taraxacum caloschistum, T. semiglobosum and T. speciosum. These are all rare alien dandelions, with the first not being seen in Britain during the last 20 years and the last with only 4 previous British records. John was also responsible for most of the new hectad records including second county records for T. edmondsonianum, T. fagerstroemii, T. fusciflorum and T. porrigens. Bert Reid was rather less active during the year but still managed one new county record, T. ostenfeldii, a half share with John with the T. porrigens record, and a good re-find of T. tamesense in its only county site.

Roger Maskew gave us our first record for Chionodoxa luciliae, from Cofton Hackett churchyard (and re-determined our earlier records of the species as the more common C. forbesii). He also found our third county site for Festuca altissima, in Seckley Wood. His new hectad records included Carex vesicaria, Rosa sherardii var. resinosoides and second recent record for Rosa x involuta. With Keith Barnett he also found Viola x bavarica, the third recent confirmed record of this difficult violet hybrid.

Other notable records were new sites for Epipactis phyllanthes and Heleborus viridis (c. 50 plants) found by Mark Jannink, a new hectad for Trifolium subterraneum by Mike Poulton, and the first post-1987county record of Veronica austriaca found by Terry Knight on the dismantled railway line at Church Honeybourne.

It is usually hard to select any record for plant of the year but 2009 was much easier than usual. There are a few old records for Pyrola rotundifolia, the most recent being in 1910 from Avlechurch, but Roger Maskew has re-determined most of these old records from herbarium specimens as P. minor or P.media. It was therefore a great surprise when Roger Bates sent a photograph of what was clearly this species, taken at Top Barn Farm, Holt. He later took John Day and Bert Reid to see the plants growing in sandy deposits among willow scrub. As a nationally scarce native plant where the inland subspecies is considered near threatened, not seen in the county for virtually 100 years and where some doubts had been raised on the early records this was very clearly 2009 plant of the year.

Detailed Records

* First published record for vc37 / Worcestershire
# First post-1987 for hectad concerned
+ Species which is not a native / archeophyte of the British Isles
0 Specieswhich 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 2009 unless otherwise stated. All references to first, second etc. records refer to published records only.

0 Achillea ptarmica: # 1136, a few plants of forma lingulosa (garden discard?) on verge of Buckle Street near Fish Hill Quarry (AWR).
Aethusa cynapium subsp. agrestis: # 9458/9558, frequent to occasional in fallow cereal stubbles in field north of Himbleton Manor (JJD). 2nd post-1987 site.
Agrostis vinealis: # 9668, locally frequent, neglected wall-top bed, Sherwood Road, Aston Fields Industrial Estate (JJD)
+ Ambrosia artemisiifolia: # 7748, disturbed ground, development site, Leigh Sinton Road (B.Laney)
Asplenium trichomanes ssp. quadrivalens: # 0061, Feckenham Church (JJD)
Calystegia x lucana (C. sepium x silvatica): # 9467, natural garden of end house, Foley Gardens, Stoke Prior (JJD)
Campanula patula: 8245, about 9 plants scattered along c.50m of boundary ditch of Dripshill Wood (AWR). Re-find on old site for this endangered species.
+ Cannabis sativa: # 0245, 2 large plants on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR)
Carex distans: # 9746, locally abundant in meadow by Lench Ditch, Lower Moor (AWR)
Carex vesicaria: # 5760, pool opposite Honger Grove (RM)
+ Carthamus tinctorius: 1non-flowering plant on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 5th county record
Cerastium diffusum: # 0566, small colony, central reservation close to roundabout, Old Forge Drive Redditch vc 38 (JJD)
+ Cerinthe major: # 0245, several plants (vegetative) on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR conf. JJD). 4th county record.
Chara globularis: # 9173, locally abundant, pond in Chaddesley Wood (JJD)
* + Chionodoxa luciliae: # 0175, Cofton Hackett churchyard (RM). 1st county record.
+ Cicer arientinum: # 0245, about 10 plants on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 3rd county record
+ Clarkia unguiculata: # 0245, 1 flowering plant on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR det. KB). 3rd county record
+ Coriandrum sativum: 0245, 2 plants on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 6th county record
+ Cucurbita pepo: # 0245, 1 fruiting plant (courgette) on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 4th county record.
+ Cyclamen repandum: # 7740, several flowering, Little Malvern Priory (JJD)
* + Daucus carota ssp. sativus: # 0245, 1 plant on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 1st county record.
* + Doronicum x willdenowii (D. pardalianches x plantagineum): # 0072, small stand on verge of Wheeley Road Tutnall (JJD). 1st county record.
+ Epilobium brunescens: # 9245, 2 plants on edge of main ride, Tiddesley Wood (AWR). 1st record in south of county, presumed accidental introduction on forestry equipment.
Epipactis phyllanthes: # 6567, roadside at Highwood (MJ conf. RM as nearest to var. pendula)
Equisetum fluviatile: # 1078, Priory Fields NR (JJD)
Festuca altissima: # 7678, Seckley Wood, vc39 (RM). 3rd county site, 1st in Wyre Forest area.
Filipendula vulgaris: #1243, 1, dismantled railway, Church Honeybourne (TDK)
Fumaria capreolata: # 0744, 1 patch on open land at side of orchard against tarmac footway of B4085 at Blackminster (TDK): # 8453, several plants on garden / pavement interface, Coventry Avenue at Bromwich Road junction (AWR)
+ Guizotia abyssinica: # 7848, 2 flowering plants on margin of maize field just east of Lower Howsell Road (KB): # 0245, 1 plant on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR) . 3rd & 4th county record.
Heleborus viridis: # 7273, about 50 plants by Tanners Brook, 2007, (MJ)
+ Helianthus tuberosus: # 9438, wide and dense patch round most of edge of arable field by track from Westmancote up Bredon Hill – crop relic or conservation planting? (AWR).
+ Juncus tenuis: # 9173, single clump in trackway, Chaddesley Wood (JJD)
* + Knautia macedonica: # 8048, 2, waste area outside entrance to sewerage freatment works, Madresfield (KB conf. E.J.Clement). 1st county record.
+ Lactuca sativa: # 0245, locally frequent on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 2nd county record – all var.crispa, both red (Lolla Rossa?) and pale green (Lolla Bionda?)
0 Lepidium latifolium: # 9165, dominant stand over about 10m of M5 slip road (JJD)
+ Lepidium ruderale: # 0445, at least 10 plants on road edge of A46 Evesham Bypass (AWR)
+ Lepidium sativum: # 0245, 1 plant on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 5th post –1987 county record.
Luzula x borreri (L.forsteri x pilosa): # 9173, woodbank, with both parents, Santery Hill Wood (JJD)
* 0 Lysimachia thyrsiflora: well established patch in field pond near Merebrook Farm, Hanley Swan (KB conf E.C.Clement). 1st county record.
+ Nicandra physalodes: # 7845, 2, pavement / foot of wall, Barnards Green (KB): # 0245, 2 plants on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR)
* + Phaseolus vulgaris: # 0245, 1 plant on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 1st county record.
+ Pisum sativum: # 0245, 3 plants on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 6th post-1987 record
+ Pratia pedunculata: # 9436, weed in garden lawn, Kemerton (GHG det. AWR). 6th county record.
Pyrola rotundifolia subsp.rotundifolia: # 8361, good patch, willow scrub in sandy deposits of established settling pool from sand and gravel quarry, Top Barn Farm, Holt. (Roger Bates conf. JJD & AWR). 1st county record for over 100 years.
+ Raphanus sativus: # 0245, frequent on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 7th county record.
Rosa sherardii: # 6949, Acton Green (RM). Recorded as var. resinosoides.
Rosa x involuta (R. sherardii x spinosissima): # 9655, field hedge near Grafton Wood (RM). R. sherardii female parent. 2nd post-1987 record.
Saxifraga tridactylites: # 8463, 1, pavement by churchyard, Ombersley (JJD & AWR).
+ Sidalca malviflora: # 0246, 1 plant on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 5th county record.
+ Spinacia oleracea: # 0245, frequent on earth bank between old and new roads, B4624 near A44 (AWR). 2nd county record
+ Taraxacum altissimum: # 8264, hedgebank with sandstone outcrops, lane Brook Farm to A4133 at Powers (JJD & AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 5th county record
* + Taraxacum caloschistum: # 0260, grass verge, lane by Tarbridges Holberrow (JJD det. A.J.Richards). 1st county record, not seen in Britain for 20 years.
Taraxacum edmondsonianum: # 9264, arable headland, Astwood Dodderhill (JJD det. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record.
+ Taraxacum fagerstroemii: # 8866 grass verge of track to Hampton Farm on railway bridge (JJD det. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record.
+ Taraxacum fusciflorum: 9861, grass verge, Church Road, Bradley Green (JJD det.AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record.
Taraxacum glauciniforme: 9146, road verge between Ramsden and Crabbe Lane (AWR det. A.J.Richards). 4th county record.
+ Taraxacum incisum: # 9758, arable near Hill Farm, Grafton Flyford (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards): # 8965, arable headland / pathside near Highstank Pool (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 3rd & 4th county records.
+ Taraxacum macranthoides: # 8264, grass verge of lane Brook Farm to A4133 at Powers (JJD & AWR det. A.J.Richards). 4th county record
+ Taraxacum nitidum: # 9663, woodland glade, Oxpasture bank (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 3rd county record.
* Taraxacum ostenfeldii: # 9049, trackside in Stoulton Community Woodland (AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 1st county record
+ Taraxaum pallescens: # 9758, grass verge of lane from Grafton to Stock Green (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 3rd county record.
+ Taraxacum pannulatum: # 9962, rye-grass ley, Stock & Bradley Parish (JJD det. A.J.Richards. 4th county record.
+ Taraxacum porrigens: # 8363, grass verge, Parsonage Lane Ombersley (JJD & AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 2nd county record
+ Taraxacum pulchrifolium: # 0072. grasss verge of Wheeley Road Tutnall (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 3rd county record.
Taraxacum sagittipotens: # 9467, garden flower bed, Brickhouse Lane Stoke Prior (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards). 5th county record.
* + Taraxacum semiglobosum: # 9062, grass bank on Holloway, Droitwich (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards).. 1st county record
* + Taraxacum speciosum: # 9858, grass verge, Middle Road Stock Green (JJD det. A.J.Richards. 1st county record , 5th British.
Taraxacum subcyanolepis: # 9272, grass verge of Woodland Road Dodford (JJD det. A.J.Richards): # 8163, grass verge of A4133, Holt (JJD det. AWR). 4th &5th county record.
Taraxacum tamesense: 8530, 1 small plant, Chaceley Meadow (AWR conf. A.J.Richards).. Only known local site, where last seen in 1988.
+ Taraxacum tenebricans: # 0870, grass verge of Seafield Lane (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards).. 3rd county record, 2nd in vc37.
+ Taraxacum valens: 0260, grass verge of lane by Tarbridges Holberrow (JJD det. AWR conf. A.J.Richards).. 3rd county site, 2nd in vc37.
Trifolium subterraneum: # 8280, several well-established patches in short mown grassland (with Ornithopus), Wolverley High School (MWP)
+ Trigonella foenum-graecum: # 8450, abundant in 2 planted strips along arable field, Open Barn Farm, Kempsey Upper Ham (AWR). Presumed planted as green manure by spinach crop. 2nd county record.
+ Verbena bonariensis: # 8540, several in small waste area outside house, Upton upon Severn (KB)
+ Veronica austriaca: # 1244, small patch on dismantled railway line, Church Honeybourne (TDK). 1st post-1987 record.
Viola x bavarica (V. reichenbachiana x riviniana): # 8145, large patch in Guarlford churchyard, seen in flower and fruit (KB & RM det. RM). 3rd recent confirmed record.

Recorder initials

AWR - Bert Reid
MJ - Mark Jannink
GHG Harry Green
MWP - Mike Poulton
JJD - John Day
RM - Roger Maskew
KB - Keith Barnett
TDK - Terry Knight

WBRC Home | Worcestershire Record  | This issue: CONTENTS