Worcestershire Record No. 21 April 2007 pp. 44-47


Worcestershire Flora Project - From the Project Newsletter No 17 November 2006

The year’s highlights

2005 was an excellent year for plant recording, with a number of good contenders for plant of the year. The highlights listed below illustrate the wide range of interesting native and introduced plants, some new to the county and some re-found many years after the previous record.

# In 2002, Bert Reid found an unusual intermediate Centaurium in Tiddesley Wood. This was provisionally identified as the hybrid C. erythraea x pulchellum, a rare plant only recorded from North Devon, North Somerset, South Essex and West Lancashire. Confirmation of the hybrid by national expert Dr Upsdell has now been received. Bert found a morphologically identical plant in Bow Wood during 2004. Both sites have good populations of the two parent species.

# Another earlier record finally confirmed is Limonium sinuatum. This was collected by Bert Reid from the edge of the Evesham bypass in 2001 with another nearby site just off the bypass. The plants were puzzling since although the winged stems strongly suggested sinuatum other features were not at all similar. National expert Dr Boorman finally concluded that the plant was not the wild type but “a garden escape of a cultivar of Limonium sinuatum despite the visible differences”.

# Roger Maskew found the hybrid Cardamine x fringsii (C. flexuosa x pratensis) on Monkwood Green. The plant was the white-flowered form, intermediate between the parents and sterile. This hybrid had not been recorded in Worcestershire since 1949. A 1910 record from between Monk and Ockeridge Woods was quite near to the 2005 site.

# Roger Maskew also spent some time in 2005 looking for Violet hybrids and the search was rewarded by records for Viola x intersita (V. canina x riviniana) from Burley Dene Meadows and from White House Meadows. The previous Worcestershire record was in 1975. The search also yielded two new records for Viola x scabra (V. hirta x odorata), from a roadside bank at Hollybush and from Conderton Hill.

# Valeriana officinalis had not been recorded from Bredon Hill since the 1970s and therefore Bert Reid was pleased to find about 20 plants in scrub/grassland on the scarp slope. These plants had the very narrow, more or less entire leaflets typical of the tetraploid form of dry calcareous soils, V. officinalis ssp. collina. This subspecies had not been recorded since 1892, but the 1970s record was almost certainly this (there is a 1834 record by Lees from Bredon Hill).

# Amphlett and Rea (1909) mention Apium inundatum from Barnards Green Common but no more recent records are known from the hectad. Keith Barnett was understandably pleased to find about 20 plants in the same area in a pond by the Hall Green Crossroads in Barnards Green.

A recent (2003) article in Watsonia suggested to John Day that French Oat-grass, Gaudinia fragilis should be present in Worcestershire. This is easily overlooked with a short flowering season and the mature inflorescence quickly disintegrating. In 2005 his prediction came true when he found a single clump on the edge of set-aside near Howsell.

Gagea lutea is a rare plant in Worcestershire known from very few sites. It was found by Corn Brook in the 1950s but not again until 2005, when Mark Jannink found it in two spots. Mark Jannink and Brian Laney also found a new site on the brook at Heightington. These new records double the known Worcestershire monad distribution of this nationally scarce species.

Every year brings a new crop of garden escapes, planted trees, etc and 2005 was no exceptions. Chris Westall found Galanthus elwesii x nivalis in Ashton under Hill churchyard; a flora meeting by the Birmingham Canal (John Day et al) produced Ginkgo biloba and Olearia macrodonta (both planted); Roger Maskew identified Gunnera manicata by Mill Brook; and Keith Barnett found Pelargonium peltatum at the foot of a wall in Upton upon Severn and Silene uniflora in a Great Malvern pavement crack.

Less expected was the bumper crop of new dandelion species for the county. Section Celtica produced Taraxacum hesperium in two places (John Day) and the scarce endemic T. oellgaadii in Chaceley Meadows (Bert Reid). Section Ruderalia gave us no less than six new species including several rarities. John Day found T. sublongisquameum while Bert Reid added T. angulare, T. exsertiforme, T. huelphersianum, T. macrolobum, and T. porrigens.

With all these excellent finds, it would seem that deciding on plant of the year would be a daunting task, but for once it has proved to be quite easy. In the nineteenth century, Pyrola minor was recorded from several sites in the northwest of the county, but after 1909 the records disappear, and the plant was assumed to long extinct in the county. It was a huge surprise therefore when Paul Reade managed to find about 100 plants by the disused railway in Wyre Forest, since when many local botanists have made a pilgrimage to the site. It is a rare event for a good population of long-lost, easily recognised, native plant to come back from the dead, and Pyrola minor is the clear winner of 2005 plant of the year.

Detailed Records


 *  First published record for vc37 / Worcestershire
#  First post-1987 record for hectad concerned
+  Species which is not a native of the British Isles
0  Species which though native 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 2005 unless otherwise stated. All references to first, second, etc. records are to first, second, etc. published records. 

  Agrostis canina: # 8129, small patch on Corse Lawn Common (KB, JJD & AWR)
  Agrostis vinealis: # 8270, car-park area of Hartlebury Common (JJD)
+ Allium triquetrum: # 7364, about 100 plants on the lane from Shelsley to Kingswood Common (JJD): # 0177, by footbridge over River Rea (MWP)
+ Amaranthus retroflexus: # 9989, casual in gutter of A4034 (JJD, AWR & PLR)
+ Ambrosia artemisiifolia: # 9468, birdseed casual in Brickhouse Lane Stoke Prior (JJD & MWP)
  Anacamptis pyramidalis: # 9675, 1 on verge of A491 at Lydiate Ash (WAT): # 0383, 1 on disused railway at Broadway (TDK)
+ Anisantha diandra: # 8242 / 8342, common on beanfield margin, Hanley Castle (KB conf. RM)
+ Anthemis tinctoria: # 8640, waste area near Ryall Quarry (KB): # 9472, base of sandstone wall Dodford (JJD)
  Apium inundatum: # 7945, 20+ plants in pond at Barnards Green (KB) – last recorded here in 1909
  Berberis vulgaris: # 6465, 1 in hedge near Innage Cottages (GHG & BW)
  Bromus hordeaceus ssp. longipedicellatus: # 7736, stream bank at Coombegreen Common (JJD & AWR)
+ Bromus lepidus: 9861, Old Rectory Meadows, Bradley Green (AWR)
+ Buddleja x weyeriana: # 0077, The Leys Allotments Rednal (MWP): third record
+ Calystegia x lucana: # 8634, Bushley Green Common (AWR, BW & JH): # 8552, Cherry Orchard Tip (JJD & AWR)
+ Cannabis sativa: : # 9989, casual in gutter of A4034 (JJD, AWR & PLR)
  Cardamine x fringsii: # 8060, Monkwood Green (RM) – white flowered form intermediate between paremts and sterile – first county record for 50 years.
  Carex echinata: # 9974, streamside marsh Lickey Hills (RM)
  Carex muricata ssp. lamprocarpa: # 9568, Aston Fields Industrial Estate (JJD)
* Centaurium erythraea x pulchellum: # 9245, on fairly bare clay edge to stoned ride in Tiddesley Wood found in 2002 (AWR conf. Dr F.Upsdell): # 9455, ride in Bow Wood found in 2004 (AWR): first and second records of this rare hybrid
  Cerastium semidecandrum: # 8453, Cherry Orchard Tip (JJD & AWR)
+ Chenopodium glaucum: # 9988, disturbed ground in front garden in Langley found in 2003 (MWP): fourth record 
  Cirsium x celakovskianum: # 0567, Proctors Barn Meadow (JJD)
+ Clematis tangutica: # 8155, large patch in Oldbury Wood (AWR & WAT): fourth site
  Conyza sumatrensis: # 9063, Droitwich (JJD): # 0089, Birmingham Canal (JJD, AWR & PLR):
+ Cyclamen repandum: # 6750, Acton Beauchamp Church (RM & AWR): # 8953, Spetchley Gardens (RM): third & fourth sites
+ Duchesnea indica: # 7745, small patch as garden escape in Great Malvern (KB): second site
  Echium vulgare: # 8453, Cherry Orchard Tip (JJD & AWR)
  Epilobium palustre: # 9746, Lower Moor Gravel Pits S6 community by Lench Ditch (Dr S.Toogood, Dr E.Hewins & M.Lush)
+ Erodium moschatum: # 0045 / 0046, arable at Charlton (AWR)
  Erophila glabrescens: # 7657, road verge near Peghouse Wood (AWR): # 9271, Bungay Lake Lane road verge (JJD)
  Erysimum cheiranthoides: # 8468, Norchard Farm arable (JJD)
+ Euphorbia dulcis: # 9245, three multi-stemmed plants on main ride near centre of Tiddesley Wood (AWR): second record
  Fumaria capreolata ssp. babingtonii: # 9670, wall and shrub bed in Bromsgrove (JJD)
  Gagea lutea: # 6168 / 6169, two places along Corn Brook (M.Janninck): first record on site for 50 years: 7670, new monad on Heightington Brook (M Janninck & B Laney)
* + Galanthus elwesii x nivalis: # 9937 (vc33), several plants with the parents in Ashton under Hill churchyard (CBW)
  Galeopsis bifida: # 9249, edge of bean field near Drakes Broughton (AWR)
0 Galium parisiense: # 8453, small quantity on Diglis Locks (CBW conf. RM): second recent record
* + Gaudinia fragilis: # 7948, a single clump on the edge of set-aside / grass headland SE of Elms Farm Howsell (JJD conf. S.J.Leach)
* + Ginkgo biloba: # 0089, planted tree on embankment north of the Birmingham canal (JJD, AWR & PLR)
+ Guizotia abyssinica: # 0280, several on disturbed ground associated with road works central reservation at Bell Hill Northfield (MWP & JJD): second post-1987 record
* + Gunnera manicata: # 6872, Mill Brook (RM)
  Helictrotrichon pubescens: # 8132, locally frequent in Burley Dene Meadows (JJD)
+ Hirschfeldia incana: # 9568, Buntsford Business Estate (JJD)
+ Hordeum vulgare: # 0380, roadside at base of trees in Northfield (MWP)
+ Hydrocotyle ranunculoides: # 0177, small pool at Tessall Lane Cycleway (MWP): third record
  Hypericum x desetangsii: # 9779, disused railway Longbridge to Halesowen (JJD)
  Iris foetidissima: # 0187, woodland by Thimblemill Pool (JJD)
  Juncus x diffusus: # 9666, one clump in meadow east of Wallbrooks (JJD)
+ Juncus tenuis: # 8231, small colony by pond on Corse Lawn Common (KB, JJD & AWR)
* + Limonium sinuatum: # 0441, three plants found on the verge of the Eveham bypass with Cochleria danica and Puccinellia distans in 2001, still present in 2005 – not the wild type but determiner accepts as a garden cultivar of L. sinuatum (AWR det. L.A.Boorman): 0341, field entrance off Evesham bypass by demolished building at edge of arable (also 2001) with L. latifolium – identical cultivar to first record (AWR)
+ Lysichiton americanus: # 7269, Rowley Coppice Pool (JJD)
+ Melilotus albus: # 8639, waste ground at Ryall Quarry (AWR)
  Montia fontana ssp. ampoitana: # 8546, Ashmoor Common (RM): second site recorded for this subspecies
  Mycelis muralis: # 9055, St James Church Bredicot (AWR)
+ Myriophyllum aquaticum: # 0446, blind cut of River Avon near Twyford (AWR)
  Oenanthe fistulosa: # 7846, North Meadow Pickersley Grove (JJD)
* + Olearia macrodonta: # 9989, several planted in native shrub belt by Birmingham Canal (JJD, AWR & PLR)
  Ornithopus perpusillus: # 8453, Cherry Orchard Tip (JJD & AWR)
  Orobanche minor: # 8372, 1000+ plants in field by Leapgate Lane, host apparently Hypochaeris radicata (ML & JJD)
* + Pelargonium peltatum: # 8541, several young plants at foot of wall in Upton upon Severn (KB)
+ Phalaris canariensis: # 8864, gateway by A442 north of Droitwich (JJD)
  Plantago major ssp. intermedia: # 7839, dried-up pond on Castlemorton Common (KB & AWR): # 9246, edge of Bow Brook (AWR)
  Poa angustifolia: # 8230, road verge by Corse Lawn Common (KB, JJD & AWR)
  Polygala serpyllifolia: # 7939, Castlemorton Common (RM): 7638, Castlemorton Common (KB & AWR)
  Potentilla anglica: # 7646, West Malvern (PGG & RM)
  Potentilla x suberecta: # 7451, Knapp & Papermill NR (RM): sixth record
  Potentilla x mixta: # 7638, Berrow Downs (PGG & RM conf. A.O.Chater): # 7446, High Grove Wood Mathon (PGG & RM): #7355, Ankerdine Hill (RM): 7357, Tinkers Coppice Meadow (RM): # 7169, Pensax Common (RM)
  Prunus x fruticans: new hectad records for SO72, SO74, SO77, SO96, SO97 and SO98 (mostly JJD)
  Pyrola minor: # 7476, about 100 plants by disused railway in Wyre Forest, 21 in flower (PLR): first record since 1909
  Quercus x rosacea: # 9148, Dufty Coppice (AWR)
+ Quercus suber: # 9537, old tree at St Faiths Church Overbury (JJD): third record
  Ranunculus auricomus: # 0380, Woodlands Park (MWP)
  Rhamnus cathartica: # 9682, hedge by Quarry Lane Uffmoor (JJD)
  Rubus echinatus: # 7846, wood at Sling Lane (JJD): # 8380, Cookley Banks POS (JJD): # 8580, Island Pool (JJD)
  Rumex x ruhmeri:
# 9481, streambank in Uffmoor Wood (JJD, AWR,
  Rumex x pratensis: # 7846, North Meadow, Hayslan Road Malvern (JJD)
  Sagittaria sagittifolia: # 7727 / 7627 / 7628, River Leadon (JJD)
  Salix x reichardtii: # 7638, Castlemorton Common (KB & AWR): # 8553, Cherry Orchard Tip (JJD & AWR)
+ Setaria pumila: # 9989, casual in gutter of A4034 (JJD, AWR & PLR)
* 0 Silene uniflora: # 7846, one plant self-seeded in pavement crack on Madresfield Road Great Malvern about 2 m from larger plant in garden (KB conf. WAT)
+ Sorghum halepense: # 0443, pavement edge in Castle Street Bengeworth (TDK conf. WAT): third record
  Spergularia marina: # locally frequent on B4208 by 3 Counties Showground (KB)
+ Sutera cordata: # 8540, 1 at foot of wall in Upton upon Severn (KB): second record
+ Taraxacum aberrans: # 9477, wood pasture by Sling Pool (JJD det. AWR & A.J.Richards): fourth record – Section Ruderalia
+ Taraxacum acutifidum: # 8870, Lunnon Lane Rushock (JJD det. A.J.Richards): fourth record – Section Ruderalia
* + Taraxacum angulare: # 8650, roadside bank at Broomhall Kempsey (AWR conf. A.J.Richards): first record – Section Ruderalia
  Taraxacum cambricum:
# 9467, garden in Brickhouse Lane, Stoke Prior (JJD det. A.J.Richards): third record – Section Celtica
  Taraxacum euryphyllum: # 9881, grassland at Lower Illey (AWR det. A.J.Richards): fourth record – Section Naevosa
* + Taraxacum exsertiforme: #9741, bridleway near Cames Coomb, Bredon Hill (AWR conf. A.J.Richards): first record – Section Ruderalia
  Taraxacum glauciniforme:
# 9640, limestone grassland on Bredon Hill (AWR conf. A.J.Richards): second record – Section Erythrosperma
* Taraxacum hesperium: # 8963, disturbed ground at Droitwich Station (JJD det. AWR & A.J.Richards): # 8872, verge of Dobes Lane, Chaddersley Corbett (JJD det. A.J.Richards): first and second records – Section Celtica
* + Taraxacum huelphersianum: # 7775, verge of Beacon Lane Lickey (AWR conf. A.J.Richards): first record – Section Ruderalia
+ Taraxacum interveniens:
# 7781 (vc39), verge of lane to Duttons Farm Arley (JJD det. AWR & A.J.Richards): third record – Section Ruderalia
  Taraxacum laciniosifrons:
# 9671, amenity grassland at Bromsgrove hospital (JJD det. A.J.Richards): second record – Section Ruderalia
+ Taraxacum leptodon: # 9674, amenity grass verge at Catshill (JJD det. AWR & A.J.Richards): fourth record – Section Ruderalia
+ Taraxacum leucopodum: # 1246 (vc33), road verge Pebworth (AWR conf. A.J.Richards): fourth record – Section Ruderalia
* + Taraxacum macrolobum: # 7931, verge of lane from Eldersfield Church to Burghill (AWR det. A.J.Richards): first record – Section Ruderalia
+ Taraxacum ochrochlorum:
# 6959, young plantation Lower Sapey (RM & AWR det. A.J.Richards): fourth record – Section Ruderalia
* Taraxacum oellgaardii: # 8530, Chaceley Meadows (KB & AWR conf. A.J.Richards): first record – Section Celtica
+ Taraxacum pallidipes: # 8059, roadside bank near Monkwood Green (AWR conf. A.J.Richards): third record – Section Ruderalia
+ Taraxacum planum: # 6949, lane from Acton Green to Firlands (RM & AWR det. A.J.Richards): second record – Section Ruderalia
* + Taraxacum porrigens:
# 7555, grass verge by Broadwas Church (AWR conf. A.J.Richards): first record – Section Ruderalia
  Taraxacum sagittipotens:
# 8842, Dunstall Common (AWR conf. A.J.Richards): # 9742, bridleway to Cames Coomb Bredon Hill (AWR conf. A.J.Richards): third & fourth records – Section Ruderalia
+ Taraxacum spiculatum: # 9870, verge of Tutnall Lane (JJD det. A.J.Richards): second record – Section Hamata
* + Taraxacum sublongisquameum:
# 9371, edge of service road to A448 Park Gate (JJD det. A.J.Richards): first record – Section Ruderalia
  Thlaspi arvense:
# 6363, arable in Kyre Parish (RM)
  Ulmus glabra x minor: # 8230, boundary hedge of Corse Lawn Common (KB, JJD & AWR)
  Valeriana officinalis ssp. collina: # 9640, about 20 plants in grassland / hawthorn scrub on scarp slope of Bredon Hill (AWR): first post 1987 record
  Viola x intersita: # 7736, White House Meadows (KB & RM): # 8132, Burley Dene Meadows (RM): first post 1987 records 
  Viola x scabra: # 7736, roadside bank of A438 at Hollybush (KB & RM): # 9737 (vc33), trackside scrub on Conderton Hill (RM)

Recorder initials used:

AWR - Bert Reid
BW - Brett Westwood
GHG - Harry Green
JH - Jackie Hardy
JJD - John Day
KB - Keith Barnett
ML - Michael Liley
MWP - Mike Poulton
PLR - Paul Reade
RM - Roger Maskew
TDK - Terry Knight
WAT - Bill Thompson
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