Page 1

PLANT RECORDING IN 2002

69

PLANT RECORDING IN 2002 MARTIN SANFORD A lot of good recording was carried out in 2002 with several groups of recorders covering new tetrads and turning up interesting finds. The map of tetrads with less than 100 species at the end of 2002 shows that we are making good progress towards getting all squares covered and the efforts of recorders in the Sudbury and Southwold areas clearly show how well they have done in picking up under-recorded areas. Many of the tetrads on the borders and coast have only tiny areas within Suffolk but there is still a fair number of squares in the ‘arable prairie’ parts of Suffolk that need recording. Less than 100 species at end of 2002

0

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

6

7

8

9

0

1

2

3

4

5

Yet again the Norfolk team have been very active, managing to visit 26 tetrads twice and another six once. They all have to travel a lot further in order to reach new areas and their efforts are much appreciated. They have obviously ‘got their eye in’ for some of the arable weed species and have made a significant change to the map for Cornfield Knotgrass Polygonum rurivagum with records from Stonham Parva, Pakenham, Great Barton, Debenham, Aspall and Stanton. This annual species is an overlooked weed on calcareous soils which is not easy to distinguish from the common P aviculare. The map in the New Atlas (Preston, Pearman & Dines, 2002) shows how well Norfolk has been covered compared with the rest of the country.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 39 (2003)


70

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 39

Particular thanks are due to the following recorders for their major contributions: A.L. Bull and the Norfolk recorders, Mr D. & Mrs Y. Leonard, L. P. Hall, W. Mitchell, R. W. Ellis, D. Mathias,, 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, M. Austin, B. Fountain, M. Searle, 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 2002 unless stated otherwise. Red Data Book species are described in Wiggington (1999) and Nationally Scarce species are covered by Stewart, Pearman & Preston (1994). Tolypella nidifica (O. Mßll.) Leonh., a Tassel Stonewort. Easton Broad, TM5179, Summer 2001, Toby Abrehart. Toby was unable to collect a voucher for this record and so there is an element of doubt about its accuracy. Simpson’s Flora notes that this species was recorded at Easton Broad in 1957 and it is quite possible that it has survived. Further survey is required to confirm its continued presence at this site. Helleborus foetidus L., Stinking Hellebore. Wissett, TM37U, C. Orme. Shelley, TM0338, August, Nick Miller. Although native in S. W. Britain, this species is only a naturalised garden escape in East Anglia. It is often grown as a garden plant and escapes can become established in the wild, although sometimes for only a few years. Fumaria parviflora Lam., Fine-leaved Fumitory. Barton Mills, TL77G, Yvonne Leonard. Mildenhall, TL7275, Yvonne Leonard. Worlington Chalk Pit, TL7071, July, Sarah Lambert. This Nationally Scarce, annual, scrambling species is virtually confined to arable fields on chalk where it often occurs in association with other uncommon arable weeds (see Filago pyramidata below). Rumex maritimus L. Golden Dock. Lakenheath, TL78D, Arthur Copping and R. M. Leaney and Lakenheath, TL68S, Bob Ellis. Two sites for this late-flowering annual species. Its chief requirement is for sites with a strongly varying water level where water lies through winter and late into the spring. It is more frequently recorded in dry summers when ponds dry out. Arabis glabra (L.) Bernh., Tower Mustard. Brandon, FE Depot at Mayday Farm, TL7983, 18 March, Jamie Collinson. Conf. Nick Gibbons. A new site for this Red Data Book species which is often a colonist of clearfelled conifer plantations and waste ground on calcareous soils. It tends to die out as the habitat closes over.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 39 (2003)


PLANT RECORDING IN 2002

71

Rubus wirralensis A. Newton, a bramble. Brightwell/Waldringfield area, TM24, 1980 and 1991, Alec Bull. Re-determined as this species (previously recorded as R. mucronulatus) but with white flowers instead of the usual pink by A. Newton. Records from Butley Heath, TM3450, 1991 and from Foxhall Heath, TM2144, 1980 are also R. wirralensis. Rubus gariannensis A. L. Bull, a bramble. Waldringfield, TM24, 1991, Alec Bull. Det. A. Newton. Most records of this species are from the northern end of the Sandlings (Beckett & Bull, 1999) so it may be worth looking for elsewhere in the Suffolk Coast & Heaths. Potentilla recta L., Sulphur Cinquefoil. Mildenhall, set-aside field at Holywell Row, TL7077, 12 June, Yvonne Leonard. A perennial herb, originating from gardens or as a contaminant of grass seed and naturalised on waste ground, roadside banks and grassy places; rarely occurring as a casual Lathyrus aphaca L., Yellow Vetchling. Ringshall roadside verge, TM0352, Andrew Toomey. Hascot Hill roadside verge, TM0653, Andrew Toomey. A Nationally Scarce species with a scatter of records, mainly on roadside verges, from the mid-Suffolk boulder clay. The only persistent populations of this annual are in open grassy habitats on calcareous clay soils. The species is possibly native in such habitats, but it also occurs as a casual in waste places, and as an arable weed where it may have been introduced as a contaminant of legume crops Crithmum maritimum L., Rock Samphire. Sizewell, TM4764, 27 July, Richard Clement. A scarce species in Suffolk, being more typical of southern and western rocky coasts. Once established, it is remarkably persistent though plants on exposed shingle banks are often lost to winter storms. Amni visnaga (L.) Lam., Toothpick-plant. Halesworth, in garden, TM3877, September, Gill Perkins. Plant arising from from bird seed. Det. Peter Lawson, Conf. Martin Sanford. Second Suffolk record. Cuscuta europaea L., Great Dodder. Brett Meadow, TL94J, August, Ron Hartley et al. Nayland with Wissington, TL9834, August, Nick Miller. This Nationally Scarce parasite on Nettle and Hops continues to make sporadic appearances along the Brett and Stour valleys. Orobanche minor Sm., Common Broomrape. Sudbury, TL84, Adrian Walters. Single plant growing on Lovage (Levisticum), an unusual host plant.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 39 (2003)


72

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 39

Filago pyramidata L., Broad-leaved Cudweed. Worlington Chalk Pit, TL7071, July, Sarah Lambert. First Suffolk record since the 1950s for this Red Data Book species. An annual of well-drained soils usually kept open through drought or disturbance. Formerly, it was most frequent as a weed of arable land on calcareous or acidic sandy soils, but most remaining sites in England are in chalk quarries or on chalk spoil. This County Wildlife site supports an interesting assemblage of scarce species of disturbed calcareous soils such as Fine-leaved Fumitory Fumaria parviflora and Venus’s-looking-glass Legousia hybrida. There are also small areas of established chalk grassland with Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria, Basil Thyme Clinopodium acinos, Breckland Thyme Thymus serpyllum and Crested Hair-grass Koeleria macrantha. Inula crithmoides L., Golden Samphire. Shotley, TM2234, 24 August, Stella Wolfe. This Nationally Scarce perennial species is on the edge of its British range here. It occurs at Trimley and is quite frequent in Essex saltmarshes. There is a population further up the Stour at Erwarton and small numbers at Harkstead. Senecio inaequidens DC., Narrow-leaved Ragwort. Trimley St Martin, TM260379, 23 October, Barbara Matthews. Conf. Martin Sanford, specimen in IPS, First Suffolk record. Sutton Hoo, TM294489, 15 November, Stella Wolfe. Conf. Martin Sanford, specimen in IPS, Second Suffolk record. Native of S. Africa; widely naturalised in Europe. A perennial herb with a woody base, naturalised in a few localities in S. England as a natural extension of its alien range in France and occurring elsewhere as a casual on arable and waste ground, arising from wool shoddy. Clive Stace had predicted the arrival of this species in Suffolk during his talk at the Future Flora Conference in 2001 (see Stace, 2002 p. 28). Zostera noltei Hornem., Dwarf Eelgrass. Covehithe Broad, TM5280 and Benacre Pits, TM5383, Summer 2001, Toby Abrehart. Although a coastal species, this perennial is found at higher levels of the shore than other Zostera species and has not suffered the massive decline seen in the mudflat species Z. marina. It grows in sheltered estuaries and harbours, where it is found on mixed substrates of sand and mud. Carex vesicaria L., Bladder Sedge. Laxfield, Hulvertree Farm, TM3068, 26 July, Arthur Copping. A scarce species of marshes and wet meadows with very few recent Suffolk records. Causes of its decline include drainage, falling water tables, ditch cleaning and eutrophication. Poa bulbosa L., Bulbous Meadow-grass. Newmarket, short open dry turf on roadsides at TL626620 and outside cemetery at TL637629, 19 April, Alan Leslie. Accompanied by other maritime

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 39 (2003)


PLANT RECORDING IN 2002

73

species (Puccinellia distans, Plantago coronopus, Spergularia marina and Cochlearia danica). A Nationally Scarce, maritime species which has recently spread, like several other normally coastal species, to disturbed inland roadside sites. These records are the second and third for West Suffolk following that of Francis Lupton in 1999 at Icklingham (Sanford, 2000). Although normally a coastal species it is not strictly a halophyte and the origins of the inland colonies are uncertain: they could be previously overlooked native populations, recent arrivals as a result of a natural extension of range, or introductions with sand and ballast. Poa infirma Kunth, Early Meadow-grass. Landguard Common, TM2832 & TM2932, Felixstowe Docks and Felixstowe Ferry TM3236, February, Paul Stanley. Conf. Arthur Copping and T. A. Cope (Kew). First Suffolk records of this Red Data Book annual grass which is usually found growing near the sea in open, trampled grassland, on cliff-top paths, tracksides, picnic sites, lawns and car parks, and in stabilised dunes and other sandy places. At the time of the 1962 Atlas, P. infirma was thought to be restricted to W. Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands. However, there has been a very considerable extension of range eastwards in the last 10-15 years with records from Middlesex and Essex in 2001. It was also found in Cambridge city in 2002 (pers. comm. Alan Leslie). This can probably be attributed to better recording, as botanists are now more familiar with this species, which is only apparent in early spring and closely resembles P. annua. Tom Cope comments ‘It may be global warming that accounts for it [its spread] but I suspect the movement has been rather too quick for that. It is interesting to speculate and would make a worthwhile study for someone’. I am particularly impressed that Paul Stanley has managed to find a new grass in an area that Arthur Copping (one of our best grass experts) has been studying for over 20 years! Like the species above, it is not clear what the origin of the new records are and I am not convinced, just because it has appeared in a typical native, coastal habitat, that it has arrived here by ‘natural’ means. Ophrys apifera Huds., Bee Orchid. Shingle Street, TM3743, 12 May, Brian Laney. 4 plants on bank. Another demonstration of the ruderal nature of this species. Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Druce) Soó var. rhodochila D. M. T. Ettlinger, an anthocyanin-rich variant of Common Spotted Orchid. Brandeston Chapel Cemetery, TM2460, June, Yvonne Leonard. Det. Dr I. Denholm from photo. First Suffolk record of this attractive variant in which the centre of the labellum is marked with a large dark blotch. It was described by Derek Turner Ettlinger in 1991 from Hampshire and Derbyshire (Turner Ettlinger, 1991), is illustrated in his excellent photographic guide (Turner Ettlinger, 1998) and has since been found in several other English counties. (see Plate 7).

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 39 (2003)


74

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 39

References Beckett, G. & Bull, A. L. (1999). A Flora of Norfolk. Gillian Beckett, Norwich. Clement, E. J. & Foster, M. C. (1994). Alien plants of the British Isles. Botanical Society of the British Isles, London. Preston, C. D., Pearman, D. A. & Dines, T. D. Eds. (2002). New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Sanford, M. N. (2000). Plant recording in 1999. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 36: 108. Stace, C. A. (1997). New Flora of the British Isles, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Stace, C. A. (2002). Knowing what we have: the ever-changing inventory. Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 38: 23–36. Stewart, A., Pearman, D. A. & Preston, C. D. (1994). Scarce Plants in Britain. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough. Turner Ettlinger, D. M. (1991). Two new varieties of British Dactylorhiza. Watsonia 18: 307–309. Turner Ettlinger, D. M. (1998). Illustrations of British and Irish Orchids. Privately published. Dorking, Surrey.

P. G. Lawson

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

Plate 6: Galactites tomentosa Moench. Garden weed at Sotherton in summer 2002 (p. 59).

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 39 (2003)


Y. Leonard Plate 7: An anthocyanin-rich variant of Common Spotted Orchid, Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Druce) So贸 var. rhodochila D. M. T. Ettlinger found at Brandeston Chapel Cemetery in June 2002 (p. 73).

PLANT RECORDING IN 2002  

Martin Sanford

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you