Worcestershire Record No. 1 1996 p. 10


Harry Green

It started last year. Bert Reid called one day in 1995 and immediately noticed a rather attractive grass which had sprouted round my front door. He identified it as Lagurus ovatus - Hare's Tail grass. It is a Mediterranean grass sometimes grown in garden and used for flower arrangements. I didn't plant it; I don't know where it came from though it might have been next door. But to my great surprise it was a first county record! It sprang up from seed again this year in even greater abundance.

Even odder, my garden seems to be a suitable habitat for tree mallow Lavatera arborea. Quite a few years back they two appeared next door. Three years ago more appeared in one part ofthe garden. Last year three appeared in my vegetable patch, survived the winter, flowered this summer and are still going strong - 6 feet high and 5 feet across. And now I have a host of new seedlings which have sprouted recently (October). This is supposed to be a frost sensitive plant usually found on warm sea coasts.

Next David got interested in snails and amongst his first few finds in the garden was Hygromia cinctella the Dorset Snail, only one but very much alive. According to John Meiklejohn and Paul Whitehead this has never been recorded in the county before! This is a snail with a distribution in Britain restricted to a small SW England. It is more widespread in SE Europe according to Kerney & Cameron (1979 A Field guide to the land snails of Britain and NW Europe). Where could it have come from?

To cap an exciting summer in the garden David added two county records for migrant moths which came to the moth trap in August - a Ni moth - first record - and a Great Brocade - second or third record - (both confirmed by Tony Simpson).

What next! The most probable moral to this story is that it is amazing what you find when you look. Admittedly my garden is not very tidy, rather weedy, and I don't use pesticides. Nevertheless many readers will certainly add to county records if they start looking in the nearest garden!

And of course the records of common species are just as important as exotic visitors.

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