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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 41 PLANT RECORDING IN 2004 MARTIN SANFORD

Yet again, recorders have continued to put a tremendous effort into achieving good coverage of the County for a new Atlas. There are now very few tetrads that have less than 100 species recorded from them. There were about 35,000 new records made during 2004 covering nearly 1200 taxa and we have now got over half a million plant records on the SBRC database. The Norfolk team, led by the indefatigable Alec Bull, have continued to make forays into the northern half of the County and have concentrated on under-recorded squares. They have continued to welcome Suffolk members to their meetings and have been able to pair up beginners with experienced recorders so they can pass on their skills. Particular thanks are due to the following recorders for their major contributions: M. Austin, G. Beckett, R. Beecroft, A. L. Bull, A. A. Butcher, R. Chancellor, J. Child, A. Copping, M. Crewe, J. Cull, J. P. Ellis, R. W. Ellis, R. Fairhead, R. Ford, B. Fountain, N. Gibbons, M. Gulham, M. Hackwell, L. P. Hall, M. Hall, R. Hartley, J. Humphris, C. A. Jacobs, G. Kitchener, P. G. Lawson, R. M. Leaney, Y. Leonard, B. Mathews, D. Miller, N. Miller, R. Mitchell, W. Mitchell, J. Mott, J. Negal, B. Nicholson, J. Parmenter, P. Payne, G. Peck, G. Ridgway, B. Ruggles, F. Schumann, M. Searle, D. Sheppard, P. R. Shott, J. Stone, S. Stone, D. Strauss, T. Tarpey, S. Taylor, H. Thompson, A. Toomey, C. Waller, J. Westcott, P. Westley, A. S. Wolfe, S. Youell, and the Flora Groups from Norfolk and Sudbury; 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 2004 unless stated otherwise. In the following accounts the term ‘recent’ refers to the last 25 years i.e. post-1980 records. Adiantum capillus-veneris, Maidenhair Fern. Reydon, TM4976, Peter Lawson. Although native in western Britain and Ireland, plants of this tender, evergreen species are alien in Suffolk and arise from spores spread from cultivated plants. It tends to occur in damp sheltered places in churchyards and beneath gratings in towns. Blechnum spicant, Hard Fern. Rishangles, TM16U, Bob Ellis, Janet Negal, Alec Bull and Mike Hall. A species that is common in wetter, western parts of Britain, but is very rare in Suffolk with only five recent records. Myosurus minimus, Mousetail. Chillesford, about 20 plants by footpath, TM3852, 28 April, Diane Lakey. This is a species that occupies a rather temporary, dynamic habitat. Seed appears to be long-lived and it may appear again in places where it has not been seen for many years.

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Polycarpon tetraphyllum, Four-Leaved All-Seed. Bungay, successfully established from seed sown in garden at Mountbatten Road, TM3389, George Maybury. A summer-annual found in open, sunny sites that are droughted in summer and relatively frost-free in winter. The survival of this a very rare (RDB) native in Bungay (albeit in a garden situation) suggests that climatic conditions in Suffolk may be getting warmer! Chenopodium chenopodioides, Saltmarsh Goosefoot. Orfordness, TM44, September, Terri Tarpey. Conf. from specimens by John Akeroyd. This is the first definite record of this Nationally Scarce species for many years. The New Atlas had suggested this goosefoot might be extinct in Norfolk and Suffolk so Terri is to be congratulated on a significant find. Rumex ×pseudopulcher (R. crispus × pulcher), a hyrbid Dock. Aldeburgh, Beach by fishing huts, TM4656, 31 August, G. Kitchener. Southwold, on seafront with parents, TM5075, 8 July 2001, Peter Lawson. This is the hybrid with R. crispus subsp. littoreus that GK first recorded at Aldeburgh in 1991 which is referred to by Stace (1997). Rumex ×dufftii (R. obtusifolius × sanguineus), a hybrid Dock. Tunstall, field north west of village, TM3556, 1 September, G. Kitchener. Second Suffolk record for this hybrid which is probably under-recorded. Rumex sanguineus var. sanguineus, a red-veined form of Wood Dock. Southwold, crack between wall and pavement on Lorne Road, TM5076, April, Peter Lawson. This is a decorative garden variety with blood-red leaf veins which is a rare garden escape or casual. Rumex maritimus, Golden Dock. Minsmere B. R., Water margin near the Sluice, TM4766, 28 August, G. Kitchener. There have been relatively few (about ten) recent records of this species from East Suffolk, it occurs in wet hollows in marshy fields and can tolerate mildy saline conditions. It is more frequent in hot summers when ponds dry out and we can expect it to increase in damp disturbed places. Arabis glabra, Tower Mustard. Bury St Edmunds, 21 plants by entrance to Wyevale garden centre, TL8663, 15 May, Bob Ellis and Barry Ruggles; also noticed independently by Yvonne Leonard a few days later. This is the second recent instance of this species turning up as a casual weed in a disturbed roadside situation. It will be interesting to see if the population is able to establish a permanent presence here. Lepidium heterophyllum, Smith’s Pepperwort. Chelmondiston, abundant along track to Rence Park, TM2136, 12 August, Martin Sanford. Elmswell, TL9862, 19 June, Bob Ellis, Frances Schumann. Huntingfield, TM3374, 29 May, Alec Bull, Lawrence Hall.

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Trimley St Mary, Capel Hall, TM23Y, Barbara Mathews. Following the record from Lakenheath in last year’s report here are some more sites for this species Crataegus persimilis, Broad-Leaved Cockspur-Thorn. Gislingham, TM07Q, 2001, Bob Ellis and Frances Schumann. Poslingford, Planted by track, but well established, TL7648, 2 June, Barry Ruggles. Stradbroke, TM27G, 7 August, Alec Bull, Lawrence Hall and Mike Hall. These are the first Suffolk records of this hawthorn relative. It is popular in gardens and increasingly planted on roadsides and amenity areas but can also be bird-sown. Lotus subbiflorus, Hairy Bird’s-Foot-Trefoil. Southwold, 31 Marlborough Road, weed in pot, TM5076, 10 September, Pamela Ellis, Conf. Martin Sanford. A very surprising species to turn up as a weed, this small annual legume, which is quite similar to Lotus angustissimus, is native in south-west Britain, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. First Suffolk record. Lythrum portula, Water Purslane. Assington, pond in the Thicks close to the main ride, TL9238, Nick Miller. There have been less than a dozen recent Suffolk records of this annual of acidic or calcium-deficient silty soils at the muddy margins of pools and in temporarily flooded habitats such as rutted tracks, woodland rides and heathland pools. There have been several recent records from the south-west of the County including Newton Green and Little Cornard. I think this is due to the increased level of recording rather than any change in the distribution of this species. Epilobium ciliatum × tetragonum, a hybrid Willowherb. Tunstall Forest, plentiful, TM3757, 30 August, G. Kitchener. American Willowherb (E. ciliatum) has continued to spread and, as Simpson (1982) suggested, is now found in all squares. Hybrids with this species are correspondingly also on the increase and the hybrid with Square-stemmed Willowherb (E. tetragonum) is a relatively frequent cross (Kitchener in Rich & Jermy, 1998). Apium inundatum, Lesser Marshwort (Plate 13). Burgate, pond on Great Green, TM0776, June, Nick Meade. This species has declined greatly in Britain due to the destruction of shallow water bodies, drainage and eutrophication. It has always been scarce in Suffolk as it prefers more neutral to acidic waters than are found here. The only other recent Suffolk record is from a similar pond site at Chippenhall Green, Fressingfield. Petroselinum segetum, Corn Parsley. Chediston, TM37T, 29 May, Mike Hall, R. M. Leaney, Mary Ghulham. This is another species, like Myosurus, that is associated with arable sites and appears to come and go due to the temporary nature of available habitat. There have been about half-a-dozen recent records.

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Ammi majus, Bullwort. Halesworth, one plant in garden in Bedingfield Crescent, TM3877, Gill Perkins. Det. Peter Lawson, Conf. Martin Sanford. An alien annual umbellifer, possibly introduced with bird-seed. There have been five recent records of this casual. Centaurium pulchellum, Lesser Centaury (Plate 14). Bramfield, Dews Ponds, frequent over an area of about 40 m2 on the sloping upper banks of ponds that were excavated in autumn 1997, TM3871, 27 July, Tom Langton and Catherine Beckett. This is an exciting find of this tiny annual species. It is frequent in southern Britain, but the only other recent Suffolk record is from the coast at Walberswick. Atropa belladonna, Deadly Nightshade. Ipswich, Corner of Cardinal Square and Peters Street, TM1644, 22 July, Martin Sanford. Two large plants observed growing in a raised bed within easy reach of small children were eventually removed by Council staff as the abundant fruits posed a serious poisoning threat. This species has been seen sporadically in the area around St Nicholas Churchyard for many years. It is probably not native in Suffolk and is likely to be a relic of cultivation. Calystegia pulchra, Hairy Bindweed. Mayday Farm, TL78W, 27 June, Nick and Mollie Gibbons. Pakenham, TL96J, 19 June, R. M. Leaney and Bill Mitchell.

Tunstall, TM3558, 30 August, G. Kitchener. A few more records of this alien bindweed which is rarely found away from habitation. The flowers are pink with white stripes and the plant is very similar to C. sepium subsp. roseata from which it can be distinguished by its larger, overlapping bracteoles. Recent records of subsp. roseata are probably errors for C. sepium f. colorata, C. pulchra, or hybrids between sepium and pulchra. Cuscuta epithymum, Dodder. Minsmere B. R., on Ling, TM4668, 1 July, Neil Mahler. This species has declined nationally to the extent that it is now classified as Vulnerable in the new ‘Red List’, the decline is largely due to loss of lowland heath and the spread of scrub on existing sites. There have been very few recent Suffolk records with less than a dozen sites since 1980. Misopates orontium, Weasel’s-Snout. Harkstead, by track to shore, TM1834, 4 August, Martin Sanford. This species has continued to decline at an alarming rate and there are less than twenty recent records from Suffolk. This mirrors the national situation where it has disappeared from almost half of its 10-km squares in south-east England in the last forty years. It is classed as ‘Vulnerable’ in the new Red List.

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Campanula latifolia, Giant Bellflower. Darmsden, TM05W, 7 September, Bob Ellis. There are only four recent Suffolk records of this handsome bellflower which has a native range from the Midlands to southern Scotland. It is sometimes confused with C. trachelium which has petiolate stem leaves whereas those of latifolia are sessile. C. latifolia is occasionally grown in gardens and it is quite likely that Suffolk records are escapes from cultivation. Galium ×pomeranicum (G. mollugo × verum), Hybrid Yellow Bedstraw. Bury St Edmunds, Golf course, base of poplar tree between 3 & 4 fairways, TL8366, June, Malcolm Searle. This is the second record of this hybrid from West Suffolk and the fourth for the County. It is intermediate in all characters between between its parents, but is most noticeable for the cream colour of the flowers; it can occur anywhere where the two species grow together. Crepis biennis, Rough Hawk’s-Beard Mayday Farm, TL78W, 27 June, Nick Gibbons, Mollie Gibbons. This stout biennial has a few scattered records across the county from waste places, roadside verges and pastures. Its native British range is on chalk soils in the south-east and the midlands but it is increasing elsewhere in Britian as an alien introduction with grass seed mix. It can persist locally for some years both in arable and pasture situations. Dittrichia viscosa, Woody Fleabane. Felixstowe, single plant at Landguard Common, TM2831, 11 September, Tony Butcher. The population at Landguard has been known for many years and is mentioned in Clement & Foster (1994), as the only established site in Britain it has been much visited by botanists. Unfortunately numbers have gradually reduced down to one plant as the nearby track has widened and the area has been regularly strimmed. Achillea ptarmica, Sneezewort. Hawkedon, North of, TL75X, 27 July, Stella Wolfe. Hollesley, (Rick Grundy’s Reserve), TM34M, 25 July, Stella Wolfe. Thorpe Morieux, Newsons Farm, TL9354, 4 August, Barry Ruggles. These are all records of the cultivated form of Sneezewort (often with double flowers, when it is known as ‘The Pearl) which regularly escapes from gardens or perpetuates from dumped garden waste. The wild plant is increasingly rare as sites are still being lost through habitat destruction and drainage. Achillea filipendulina, a cultivated species of Yarrow. Eriswell, TL7277, 27 June, Tony Butcher. Icklingham allotments, TL7673, 27 July, Tony Butcher. These are the first Suffolk records for this persistent garden escape. Senecio ×albescens (S. cineraria × jacobaea), a hybrid Ragwort. Burgh Castle, road verge with both parents nearby, TG4804, 1 July, Martin Sanford.

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This is the first inland Suffolk record for this hybrid which has previously been found on the coast at Bawdsey, Aldeburgh, Walberswick and Southwold. Some populations may be persistent, but it also occurs as a casual. It is a spontaneous hybrid between native and alien parents which is fertile, variable, and backcrosses with the parents. In other parts of Britain it has been recorded in places where S. cineraria is not found, and appears to be spreading. Senecio inaequidens, Narrow-Leaved Ragwort. Felixstowe, one plant inside gate to a factory in Carr Rd, TM2833, 27 October, Barbara Mathews. Felixstowe, one plant near to the Martello tower on Wireless Green, TM2933, 27 October, Barbara Mathews. Gorleston on Sea, TG5205, 25 October, Peter Lawson. Levington, Old Ipswich Road, TM2539, 1 September, Stella Wolfe. Stratton Hall, TM23P, Barbara Mathews. Trimley St Martin, TM23T, Barbara Mathews. This species has continued to consolidate its foothold in the Felixstowe/ Trimley area and has also appeared in the extreme north of the county for the first time. It is likely to spread into other urban areas in a similar way to Conyza sumatrensis. Cyperus longus, Galingale. Middleton Moor, TM4167, 3 September, Peter Lawson. Another new site for this species which is probably spreading from gardens where it is popular as a pondside plant. Festuca ×aschersoniana (F. pratensis × F. arundinacea) a hybrid Fescue. Rumburgh, about 6 plants in border of ceral field, TM3580, August, Bob Leaney. Det. A. C. Copping, Conf. T. A. Cope. This is the first record of this hybrid from Suffolk, it may be overlooked elsewhere but requires expert examination to detect the sterile pollen. Festuca arenaria, Rush-Leaved Fescue. Felixstowe Ferry, TM33I, Barbara Mathews. Landguard Common, TM23W, Barbara Mathews. This taxon now includes plants previously recorded as F. juncifolia and F. rubra subsp. arenaria. There are about a dozen sites scattered thinly along the Suffolk coast from Landguard to Lowestoft. Festuca brevipila, Hard Fescue. Landguard Common, TM23W, Barbara Mathews. Stuston, TM17P, 1 August, Arthur Copping. A tufted perennial herb, introduced in turf-grass and seed mixtures (as F. duriuscula) and frequently naturalised on roadsides, railway banks, commons, golf courses and other amenity grasslands, especially on well-drained, acidic soils. These two records are typical of the sort of sites this species occurs in. F. brevipila and F. lemanii were collectively mapped under the misapplied name ‘F. longifolia’ in the 1962 Atlas, and there continues to be much confusion between F. brevipila and other taxa within the F. ovina speciescomplex. Records of Festuca longifolia, Blue Fescue away from its native Breckland sites are likely to be brevipila.

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Anisantha madritensis, Compact Brome. Landguard Common, TM23W, Barbara Mathews. An annual grass of dry open places which has occurred in a few places in Suffolk, but is only regularly seen at Landguard. It was first recorded there by Arthur Copping in 1980. Allium triquetrum, Three-Cornered Garlic. Dunwich, TM4770, Peter Lawson. Southwold, Pier Avenue, TM5076, 15 May, Peter Lawson. There have been only five recent Suffolk records for this species which is becoming abundant in milder parts of south-west Britian. It is getting less popular in gardens perhaps due to its weedy nature. Dactylorhiza traunsteineroides (=traunsteineri), Narrow-Leaved MarshOrchid. Barnby Broad & Marshes, TM4890, 30 June, Ricky Fairhead, needs confirmation. Carlton Marshes, TM5091, June, Ricky Fairhead, confirmed from photos by Ian Denholm. Although this species has been known for many years from Market Weston and the fens around the Waveney/Little Ouse headwaters, this is the first confirmed record at Carlton. References 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. Rich, T.C. G. & Jermy, A. C. (1998). Plant Crib 1998. Botanical Society of the British Isles, London. Stace, C. A. (1997). New Flora of the British Isles, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Simpson, F. W. (1982). Simpson’s Flora of Suffolk. Suffolk Naturalists’ Society, Ipswich. Stewart, A., Pearman, D. A. & Preston, C. D. (1994). Scarce Plants in Britain. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough. 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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N. Meade T. Langton

Plate 13: Lesser Marshwort, Apium inundatum, found by Nick Meade in a pond at Burgate in June 2004. (p. 106).

Plate 14: Lesser Centaury, Centaurium pulchellum, found at Dews Ponds, Bramfield in July 2004 (p. 107).

PLANT RECORDING IN 2004  

Martin Sanford

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