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PLANT RECORDING IN 2000 MARTIN SANFORD With the completion of the fieldwork for the National Atlas 2000 Project the focus for recording shifted to the proposed new County Flora. A meeting at Ipswich Museum in January to discuss the way forward for botanical recording in Suffolk was very well attended with over 30 participants. There was considerable support for the idea of producing a new Atlas Flora with the year 2005 as a possible end date for the project. As we have been concentrating on computerising post-1980 records, this would give a 25 year period for the most recent date class. It was felt that whilst most distribution maps would be at tetrad (2 × 2 km) scale there might be some species that would be better mapped at a finer scale of 1 km. There was also support for the idea that species which had undergone important changes in their distributions (either up or down) might have maps which included historical records and the date classes shown could be chosen to emphasise such changes. Different maps showing the use of ‘underlays’ to show associations between species’ distributions and soil types, habitats etc. were demonstrated. There was much discussion about how we might achieve the level of coverage required. It was felt that a mixed approach of both ‘square-bashing’ and species-specific or habitat-specific surveys would be beneficial. First drafts of lists of ‘really useful species’ or ‘Habitat Quality Indicators’ (HQIs) for each of the major habitat categories were circulated. During the year a number of Provisional Atlases covering the typical species of different habitats were produced and these proved to be very helpful in stimulating new records. The maps only show records made since 1980 (i.e. the last 20 years) which have been computerised. There are still many surveys on paper at the Records Centre which will add to this picture as they are added to the database. Coverage maps showing which tetrads had less than 100 species recorded from them were also useful in directing field workers to under-recorded areas. Arthur Copping led a B.S.B.I. Field Meeting to study grasses on 17 & 18 June, visiting Wortham Ling, Wortham Long Green, Redgrave & Lopham Fen and Landguard Common at Felixstowe (see Copping, 2001). In all 74 grass taxa were recorded over the weekend and an annotated list is available from Arthur (A. Copping, The Nook, Swamp Lane, Roydon, Diss, Norfolk IP22 5FY) on receipt of an A5 size stamped, self-addressed envelope. Peter Lawson and Graham Peck continued to spot new garden escapes around the streets of Southwold and added first county records for the following alien species: Tetragonia tetragonoides (Pallas) Kuntze, New Zealand Spinach; Mimulus × hybridus Siebert & Voss, a hybrid Monkeyflower; Sutera cordata (Thunb.) Kuntze, a tiny hanging-basket plant with lilac flowers often sold under the name Bacopa (see Clement, 2000); Cerinthe major L., Greater Honeywort; Bidens ferulifolia (Jacq.) DC, Fern-leaved Beggarticks - another hangingbasket plant (see Clement, 2001). In good years many hanging-basket plants will self-seed or spread by vegetative means onto pavements and nearby waste ground. Most are not hardy and are wipe out by the first frosts, but there are a few that find sheltered spots and can become naturalised for a time.

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Well over 20,000 new records were sent in during 2000 and particular thanks are due to the following recorders for their major contributions: T. Abrehart, A.L. Bull and the Norfolk recorders, Mr D. & Mrs Y. Leonard, L. P. Hall, W. Mitchell, R. W. Ellis, D. Mathias, Rev. R. A. Addington, A. Copping, F. Schumann, R.M. Leaney, Mrs J. P. Ellis, R. Chancellor, N. Miller, S. Taylor, C. A. Jacobs, R. Mitchell, J. Negal, G. Peck, Ms M. Austin, A. Toomey, P. Westley, D. Strauss, Ms A. S. Wolfe, P. G. Lawson, R. Hartley and the Sudbury Flora Group, Mrs G. Ridgway; thanks also to all others who have contributed records. For the records listed below nomenclature and order follows Stace (1997); Clement & Foster (1994) is the authority for information on alien plants. All records are from the year 2000 unless stated otherwise. Azolla filiculoides Lam., Water Fern. Pond in Kentwell Meadow, Long Melford, TL8646, April, Hartley, R.F. et al. West of High Pale Farm, TL8936, September, Miller, Mr N. Groton Wood, TL94R, Hartley, R.F. et al. Beccles, TM49F, Abrehart, Mr T. Rushmere, TM58D, Abrehart, Mr T. Three Acre Plantation, Worlingham, TM49K, Abrehart, Mr T. This alien water plant continues to turn up in new sites. It is small enough to be spread on the feet of water-fowl as well as through accidental introductions from garden ponds with fish. Clematis flammula L., Virgin’s-bower. Lemon Hill Bridge, Tattingstone, TM1338, 24 September, Hyde, Mrs E.M. First Suffolk record for this attractive species which is frequently grown in gardens. Ranunculus parviflorus L., Small-flowered Buttercup. Overbury Hall, Layham, TM0140, 14 May, Millins, Mr G.D. A new site for this very scarce annual buttercup. It still occurs at Landguard Common, TM2831 where it was seen on 17 June by Arthur Copping. Ranunculus arvensis L., Corn Buttercup. Near Reckford Bridge, Middleton, TM4367, 24 June, Millins, Mr G.D. This is another annual buttercup which is now very scarce with probably less than six extant sites in the County. Ceratocapnos claviculata (L.) Liden, Climbing Corydalis. Mildenhall, TL7176 & TL7276, 14 July, Leonard, Mrs Y. & Mr D.J. Arger Fen, TL9335, December 1985, Miller, Mr N. Arger Fen, TL9335, 18 June 1996, Hyde, Mrs E.M. Spouse’s Grove, Arger Fen, TL9336, June, Miller, Mr N. Tiger Hill, TL9235, December 1985, Miller, Mr N. King’s Forest, TL87C, 1 May, Bull, Mr A.L., Austin, Ms M., Mathias, Mr D. King’s Forest, TL77W, 3 June, Copping, Mr A., Taylor, S., Ellis, R.W. Shelley, TM0038, 29 May, Miller, Mr N. Though quite frequent in the Sandlings this species has an preference for oceanic climate conditions and has always been scarce in W. Suffolk. The records for Arger Fen and Shelley are a logical extension of its E. Suffolk

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range, but the records from the Breck in Mildenhall Woods and the King’s Forest are an interesting change in distribution. I wonder if seed might have been transferred with military air traffic from RAF Bentwaters where this plant is frequent. Malva parviflora L., Least Mallow. Capel Hall lane, Trimley St Martin, TM2837, 31 July, Mathews, Mrs B., det. Sanford, Mr M.N., specimen in IPS. First recent record for this alien species. Last recorded in 1936 when it was found at Landguard Common. Cardamine corymbosa Hook f. (= C. uniflora), New Zealand Bitter-cress. Rock estate, Oulton Broad, TM5193, 1 April, Hutchinson, Mr R. First Suffolk record for this tiny annual bitter-cress. It has spread via nursery stock and will probably become as common in garden paths and pavement cracks as the other weedy Cardamine species. It can be recognised by its very short inflorescence with few flowers with relatively large petals. Stems are often leafless with only one flower. Primula elatior (L.) Hill, Oxlip. North side of lake, Culford Park, TL8270, 9 April, Gurney, Mr M. & Preston, Mr C.D. several hundred. East side, Great Livermere Lake, TL8770, 9 April Gurney, Mr M. & Preston, Mr C.D., several hundred. Sherbourne House Meadows TL9540 24 April Preston, Mr C.D. & Yates, Miss S.E., 50 plants. These records confirm the continued survival of this tenacious plant at the northern edge of its British range in sites where it had had been known in the 1950s. Vicia bithynica (L.) L., Bithynian Vetch. Behind MacDonalds roundabout, Walton Ave, Felixstowe, TM2833, April, Mathews, Mrs B., det. Sanford, Mr M.N. This nationally scarce, annual vetch has very few records from Suffolk. It is mainly coastal though it is difficult to tell which sites are native. Euphorbia platyphyllos L., Broad-leaved Spurge. Ilketshall St Margaret, TM3485, July, Bull, Mr A.L., conf. Sanford, Mr M.N. Spexhall, TM38V, 26 August, Hall, L.P., Leaney, R.M. & Mitchell, W. Barsham, TM38Z, 26 August, Ellis, R.W. Nr Halesworth, TM37Z, 26 August, Hall, L.P., Leaney, R.M. & Mitchell, W. The discovery of this nationally scarce and declining arable weed has to be ‘the find of the year’. I was amused to find that the last Suffolk record was also made by Alec Bull, 50 years ago at Bury St Edmunds. It is a species of arable field edges, growing in similar places, and looking very like, Sun Spurge (E. helioscopa) from which it can be distinguished by its warty (papillose) seed capsules. I wonder whether it has always been there, and simply been overlooked, or has seed has been introduced from elsewhere with farm machinery? Perhaps other records will be made now that people are aware it should be looked for.

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Impatiens capensis Meerb., Orange Balsam. Sudbury Common Lands TL8641, Walters, Mr A.C., det. from photograph Sanford, Mr M.N. Riverside, Great Cornard, TL8840, Walters, Mr A.C. Bakers Mill, Great Cornard, TL8840, 28 August, Wolfe, Ms A.S. Barsham, TM4190, August, Abrehart, Mr T. This attractive alien species from North America had previously only been known in Suffolk from the banks of the Waveney. It does not seem as dangerous and dominant as the larger Indian Balsam I. glandulifera, though it has the same ‘explosive’ seed pods. Solanum carolinense L., Horse-nettle. Chantry farmyard, Orford, TM4249, 15 August, Addington, Rev. R.A., conf. Sanford, Mr M.N. First Suffolk record of this large and spiny alien from North America. Scrophularia vernalis L., Yellow Figwort. Pakenham, TL9166, 5 May, Peck, Mr G. A new site for this scarce, but persistent, alien. Orobanche elatior Sutton, Knapweed Broomrape. Rattlesden, TL9658, 23 June, Taylor, M. A new site for this declining species. Orobanche hederae Duby, Ivy Broomrape. Letheringham Mill, TM2758, 25 October, Addington, Rev. R.A. Richard Addington kindly provided photographs and herbarium specimens of this plant which was introduced to the gardens at the Mill by Mrs H. Allen from seed about ten years ago. The related parasite Lathraea squamaria also grows in this garden. Cephalaria gigantea (Ledeb.) Bobrov., Giant Scabious. 10 yards south of Cranmore Green House, Long Melford TL8547 1985 Coe, Mrs E.M. Near Cranmore Green, Long Melford, TL8547, July, Hartley, R.F. et al. Ron Hartley and the Sudbury Flora Group came across this plant without knowing it had been recorded there before (see Hyde & Simpson, 1987). It is a long-lived garden escape with attractive creamy yellow flowers. Tragopogon porrifolius L., Salsify. N and S sides of road between Church Meadows & Pond End, Ashbocking Rd, Henley, TM1551, 18 May, Burton, A. I suspect this ‘purple goatsbeard’ is now commoner in the wild than it is in cultivation (it used to be grown for its edible root - known as the ‘vegetable oyster’). Toby Abrehart found it at several sites in his area including: Benacre Ness, TM58H; Rushmere, TM58D; Barsham, TM39V and Benacre Park, TM58D. Hieracium sublepistoides (Zahn) Druce, a hawkweed. Felixstowe Railway Station, TM3035, Mathews, Mrs B., det. Sell, Dr P.D. specimen in CGE.

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First Suffolk record. Peter Sell writes that most of this group of hawkweeds is introduced, but have been here for a long time. Inula helenium L., Elecampane. Trackside opposite Moat Farm, Bures St Mary, TL9234, September, Miller, Mr N. Stanstead, TL8450, July, Hartley, R.F. et al. Like the Cephalaria mentioned above, this is another persistent garden escape. The Stanstead site was first noted some 20 years ago by Dr K. T. Brown. Conyza sumatrensis (Retz.) E. Walker, Guernsey Fleabane. Between August and October I found this species in the following 1-km squares in Ipswich: TM1644, TM1743, TM1744, TM1843, TM1544, TM1645, TM1545, TM1347. It still seems to be mainly found in urban areas like: pavement by church, Felixstowe, TM3034, 10 September, Sanford, Mr M.N. Bury St Edmunds, TL8564, 26 September, Sanford, Mr M.N. Weavers Lane, Sudbury, TL8741, October, Hartley, R.F. et al. Area of the Bull bottle, Long Melford, TL8646, October, Hartley, R.F. et al. Toby Abrehart has ‘got his eye in’ for this species in his area and found plants at: Wrentham, TM4982; Worlingham, TM4589; Beccles, TM4290; and even on Covehithe Cliffs, TM5281. It is likely to continue its rapid spread throughout the County and will gradually move into less urban places as genetic selection increases its hardiness. Please also look out for Conyza bilbaoana (see Mundell, 2001); another, possibly even more invasive, fleabane already established in Surrey, Dorset, Middlesex and Buckinghamshire. Ambrosia artemisiifolia L., Ragweed. Garden weed at Kelsale-cum-Carlton, TM3865, Westcott, Mrs J., det. Lawson, Mr P.G. Garden weed at Parham, TM3060, Culpan, Mrs D., det. Sanford, Mr M.N. An occasional alien which seems to usually appear as a garden weed, perhaps arising from split bird-seed. Eleocharis quinqueflora (Hartmann) O. Schwarz, Few-flowered Spike-rush. Hopton Fen, in Cladium swamp, TL9980, 25 July, Parmenter, J., conf. Walters, Dr. S. M. An exciting discovery of a plant that had been presumed extinct in the County. The species is common in north-western Britain, but had not been recorded in Suffolk since 1860. Hopton Fen has many rare fen species including Potentilla palustris, Cirsium dissectum and Potamogeton coloratus. Isolepis cernua (Vahl) Roemer & Schultes, Slender Club-rush. Sizewell Belts, TM4663, 18 July, Parmenter, J., conf. Simpson, Dr. D.A. Another important find. This is only the second recent Suffolk record for this

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species. It was found at Carlton Colville in 1980 by the Lowestoft Field Club and the only other 20th Century record is from Lowestoft where it was found by E. R. Long in 1934. These last two records show that there are still rewarding records to be made for those who are willing to look at small and unspectacular rushes and sedges. There are experts available who are willing to look at specimens (pressed, not fresh) if you are not confident to identify them yourself. Carex curta Gooden., White Sedge. Westleton, TM4467, 4 June, Strauss, Mr D.F. Dunwich Heath with Sphagnum, TM4667, Strauss, Mr D.F (seen here 1986, see Hyde & Simpson, 1987). A rare sedge in East Anglia, though frequent in the north and west. It occurs here on ‘wet sandy heaths’ - a habitat which has probably always been scarce in our dry Sandlings. Easily distinguished from other sedges by the soft, pale green leaves, acutely trigonous (three-angled) stems and pale fruiting heads. Carex viridula ssp. brachyrrhyncha (Celak.) B. Schmid, Long-stalked Yellow Sedge. Area cleared in 1998-1999, Hurst Fen and Howlet Hills, TL7276, 19 May, Gibbons, Mr N., conf. Sanford, Mr M.N. This sedge is still found in a few of the Waveney/Little Ouse valley fens, but this is the only Breck fen site where it remains. Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Deesf., Annual Beard-grass. Bush Boake Allen, Long Melford, TL8646, 24 July, Hartley, R.F. et al. Foxgrove Lane, beside telegraph pole, Felixstowe, TM3135, 27 May, Mathews, Mrs B., det. Copping, Mr A. Two new sites for this nationally scarce, native grass. Although the Felixstowe site may be native it is likely that the inland record from Long Melford has been introduced - perhaps with bird-seed. Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop., Hairy Finger-grass. Blythburgh, TM4574, September, Lawson, Mr P.G., det. Copping, Mr A. An alien weed of cultivated ground and waste places, often arising from birdseed. Very few recent Suffolk records. Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. ochroleuca (Boll) P. Hunt & Summerh., Creamflowered form of Early Marsh-orchid. Market Weston Fen, TL9878, July, Duckett, Prof. J. G, nine flowering plants. It is pleasing to hear that this very rare sub-species continues to thrive at Market Weston. It is included in the latest British Red Data Book (Wigginton, 1999) which records the only other extant population as being at Chippenham Fen in Cambs. Aceras anthropophorum (L.) Aiton, Man Orchid. Welnetham Railway Line, TL8959, 7 June, Cull, Mrs J., one flowering. This is the first new site in the county for this nationally scarce species for many years. It is hoped the presence of this species will raise the conservation importance of this site and help it to get better protection and management.

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References Clement, E. J. (2000). Will Sutera cordata become established in Britain? BSBI News 83: 36. Clement, E. J. (2001). Bidens ferulifolia is in town. BSBI News 86: 48–49. Clement, E. J. & Foster, M. C. (1994). Alien plants of the British Isles. Botanical Society of the British Isles, London. Copping, A. C. (2001). Reports of Field Meetings. BSBI News 86: 67–68. Hyde, E. M. & Simpson, F. W. (1987). Some recent Suffolk plant records. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc., 23: 27–37. Mundell, A., (2001). Conyza bibaoana is on its way to you. BSBI News 87: 62–65. Stace, C. A. (1997). New Flora of the British Isles, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Wigginton, M. J., ed., (1999). British Red Data Books. 1. Vascular Plants. 3rd ed. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough. Martin Sanford Botanical Recorder S.B.R.C. Ipswich Museum High Street Ipswich IP1 3QH

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PLANT RECORDING IN 2000  

Martin Sanford

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