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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 42 PLANT RECORDING IN 2005 MARTIN SANFORD

The penultimate year of recording for the new Flora Atlas has seen recorders continue to put a tremendous effort into achieving good coverage of the County. There are now less than a dozen tetrads that have less than 100 species recorded from them. There were about 25,000 new records made during 2005 covering 1119 taxa including a number of new additions to the Suffolk list. We are most grateful to the Norfolk team, who have continued to make forays into the northern half of the County and have added many new records for under-recorded squares. Particular thanks are due to the following recorders for their major contributions: S. Aylward, J. Baker, A. L. Bull, A. Copping, R. W. Ellis, R. Fairhead, A. Ford, R. Ford, M. Gulham, M. Hackwell, L. P. Hall, R. Hartley, J. Hawkins, J. Humphris, C. A. Jacobs, P. G. Lawson, R. M. Leaney, D. Leonard, Y. Leonard, A. Leverett, S. Massey, B. Mathews, G. Maybury, N. Miller, W. Mitchell, J. Mott, J. Negal, B. Nicholson, P. Payne, G. Peck, G. Ridgway, B. Ruggles, F. Schumann, D. Sheppard, S. Stone, T. Tarpey, S. Taylor, A. Toomey, S. Warrington, A. S. Wolfe, 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) except for orchids where the new nomenclature as used in Foley & Clarke (2005) has been followed; Clement & Foster (1994) is the authority for information on alien plants. All records are from the year 2005 unless stated otherwise. In the following accounts the term ‘recent’ refers to the last 25 years i.e. post-1980 records. Suaeda vera, Shrubby Seablite. Ramsholt, west side of river wall, TM34A, Barbara Mathews. A new site for this Nationally Scarce saltmarsh species. Polygonum rurivagum, Cornfield Knotgrass. Gedding, Wentis Farm, TL9557, August, John Wakerley, conf. Martin Sanford. A more southerly record shows that it is not just the Norfolk team who can spot this species! It is probably overlooked for P. aviculare in arable on clay soils in the south of the County. Althaea officinalis, Marsh Mallow. Parham, North Green on old bonfire site, TM36B, Dudley Sheppard. An interesting inland site for this saltmarsh plant. It is occasionally grown in gardens and may have established here from garden waste. Althaea hirsuta, Rough Mallow. Lakenheath, about 40 plants in Broom Road Field, TL7282, 28 May, Lee Gregory, conf. Yvonne Leonard. See photo in TSNS 41 (plate 15). A surprising find for this very rare plant of dry open chalk soils previously thought to be a native in Somerset, Oxfordshire and Kent and listed in the Red Data Book (Wigginton, 1999), but

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recently reclassified as a Neophyte. It is known to have been introduced at other sites including one in North Lincolnshire where it has occurred sporadically for a century and was probably introduced with pheasant fodder. Seed is capable of lying dormant for many years so we may see the plants again at Lakenheath. Bunias orientalis, Warty Cabbage. Dunwich, Mount Pleasant Farm, few plants in arable field which had been taken out of arable production, TM4669, 28 June, Terri Tarpey and Jerry Heath. First Suffolk record since 1935. A perennial, or occasionally biennial, alien, very persistent on waste ground, roadsides, docks and railways; most records are from the London area. It was apparently frequent in the early 20th century, probably due to introductions from contaminated grain, but it has gradually declined since then. It has recently gained favour as a salad vegetable (Turkish Rocket). Barbarea verna, American Wintercress. Aldeburgh Beach, TM45, May, Pat Toshach, det. Martin Sanford. First recorded at this site in 1978 by Enid Hyde, this population and the one at Landguard Common seem able to sustain themselves for many years. A biennial, or occasionally annual, herb which is most frequent as a garden escape on waste ground, by roads and on railways. It has a long-lived seed bank. Lepidium ruderale, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort. Ipswich, Norwich Road, TM1447, 17 June, Tony Butcher, conf. Martin Sanford (Plate 1). Flempton, TL86E, 17 September, Arthur Copping and Stella Taylor. Great Barton, TL8667, 17 September, R. M. Leany and Mary Ghullam. Mickfield, TM16E, Alec Bull and Frances Schumann. An annual, or rarely biennial, herb of banks and bare waste land near the sea, and increasingly as a halophyte on salted verges of major roads. Genista anglica, Petty Whin. West Stow Country Park, TL8071, 5 May, Brian Fountain. This is the only Suffolk site away from the Waveney/Ouse valley fens. A small spiny shrub, found on relatively humid grass heaths and around the drier fringes of bogs. There has been a very substantial decline of this species in England. The inherent fertility of many of its heathland sites means that they are frequently vulnerable to agricultural improvement, or else are apt to be become quickly overgrown following cessation of grazing or other management. Euphorbia platyphyllos, Broad-leaved Spurge. Clopton Green, TL7755, Joyce Humphris and Peter Payne. Another new site for this scarce and declining archaeophyte. It is found most frequently at the margins of arable fields, and occasionally on roadsides. Its seed is thought to be long-lived in the soil.

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Polygala serpyllifolia, Heath Milkwort. Belstead, Old Hall Wood, TM1240, Adam Stewart, conf. (from photos) Martin Sanford July 2006. This species is common in northern and western Britain, but is quite scarce in Suffolk with less than a dozen recent records – mainly from damp heaths near the coast (e.g. Wenhaston, Black Heath, TM4274) and in the Waveney/Ouse headwaters. It was recorded at ‘Bentley’ in 1986 by Enid Hyde probably at the same site. Erodium maritimum, Sea Stork’s-bill. Minsmere, near Sand Martin cliff in rabbit-cropped turf on sandy soil, TM4767, 17 July, Stephen Massey, conf. Martin Sanford. First Suffolk record for this annual species of trampled or closely-grazed clifftop grasslands, disturbed sand dunes and gull-infested sea-cliffs, and around coastal settlements on walls and pavements. It is widespread on the coast in Wales and the south-west extending north to the Isle of Man but is absent from eastern Britain with the nearest native site to Suffolk being in East Sussex. The plant seems well established at Minsmere and it is interesting to speculate whether its arrival is natural or has been assisted by man - perhaps carried with mud on a bird-watcher’s car? Ammi majus, Bullwort. Boxford, in set-aside field near Coxhill House, TL9740, 1 August, Tina Loose, conf. Martin Sanford. Another record of this alien annual umbellifer, possibly introduced with a ‘wildflower’ seed mix. There have been six recent records of this casual. Hyoscyamus niger, Henbane. Worlingworth, White Hall Farm, large number of plants in arable, TM2068, 12 May, Phil Watson. An unusual site for this species which is typically found in disturbed sites on light soils and on the coast. Possibly brought in by geese. Cuscuta europaea, Great Dodder. East Bergholt, riverside below Flatford, TM0832, July, Nick Miller. A new site for this Nationally Scarce parasitic climber which is only found in the Brett valley and on the Stour from Sudbury down to the estuary. Cuscuta epithymum, Dodder. Snape Warren, TM4157, 3 August, R. Blacker. A new site for this rapidly declining species. Stachys arvensis, Field Woundwort. Elmsett, Bushy Ley Farm, TM0647, 10 July, Joy Fussell, conf. Martin Sanford. Boxted, Street Farm, TL8351. Ron Hartley. Rattlesden, TL95U, 7 May, R. M. Leaney and Mary Ghullam. A few records for this near threatened annual species of arable fields. Galeopsis angustifolia, Red Hempnettle. Orfordness, TM4550, 26 May, Terri Tarpey. There are very few confirmed records for this declining Nationally Scarce

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species. It used to be a common cornfield weed in some areas, but the contraction in range has accelerated following a shift from spring- to wintersown crops and cleaner crop husbandry and it is now more likely to be found on waste ground and coastal shingle. Centaurea calcitrapa, Red Star-thistle. Chadacre, Melford Lodge Park in a field sown to permanent pasture spring 2005, TL8552, 26 September, B. W. J. Perkins. First Suffolk record since 1960. Once widespread, but now a very scarce alien. A biennial herb of waste ground and tracksides in dry grassland, and on banks on well-drained sandy, gravelly or light chalky soils. A declining casual from wool, bird-seed, lucerne seed and esparto. Sonchus asper var. sabulosus P. D. Sell var. nov., a coastal variety of Prickly Sow-thistle. Dunwich, stabilised shingle at back of beach, TM479709, 26 June 1990, Peter Sell (CGE no. 90/157) in Sell & Murrell (2006). This is the plant of shingle and sand by the coast. It is often shorter than the type and has leaves which are much divided and very prickly. The capitula are few in a dense cluster. Achillea millefolium var. densiloba P. D. Sell var. nov., a coastal variety of Yarrow. Shingle between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh, TM472592, 14 August 1996, Peter Sell (CGE no. 96/113) in Sell & Murrell (2006). This variety is found in sandy areas on the East Anglian coast. It differs from the typical form in having shorter (up to 7 cm) leaves which are densely shaggy-hairy, with the segments dense and imbricate (overlapping at the edges). Senecio inaequidens, Narrow-Leaved Ragwort. Felixstowe Docks, TM2634, 24 May, Graham Peck. Nayland with Wissington, field east of Arger Fen, TL9335, Robin Ford. Great Glemham, TM36K, Graham Peck and Dudley Sheppard. Lakenheath, RAF base, 2 sites TL7581 and TL7382, Graham Easy. Further spread for this new alien Ragwort. Nayland and Lakenheath are the first and second records for West Suffolk. Polypogon viridis, Water Bent. Lowestoft, base of wall of church and nearby houses, Christchurch, Whapload Road, TM5593, Arthur Copping (first found in 2002, AC and Ron Payne). First Suffolk record for this annual or perennial grass which is well-naturalised in the Channel Islands on roadsides and by pools. In England it grows on tips and damp waste ground, and is spreading as a weed of nurseries, gardens and pavement cracks. Elytrigia atherica, Sea Couch. Bromeswell-Sutton Road, TM2949, growing with other halophytes such as Cochlearia danica and Atriplex littoralis, 23 July, Alec Bull. This coastal grass is rarely found on road verges, but once established, can survive for many years.

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Narcissus pseudonarcissus forma pleniflorus P. D. Sell forma nova, a double form of Wild Daffodil. Dunwich, roadside bank of B1125, TM449716, 23 March 1993, Peter Sell (CGE no. 65/20) in Sell & Murrell (1996). This is presumably the same double form as that referred to by Simpson (1982) growing in Butley Woods. Sell (1996) says this form is common. It is quite different from the various double Narcissus cultivars such as ‘Van Sion’ or ‘Telamonius Plenus’ naturalised at Monewden. Dactylorhiza traunsteineroides (= traunsteineri) × D. praetermissa, Narrowleaved Marsh-Orchid/Southern Marsh Orchid. The Haven, Thorpeness, [TM4659], Steve Abbott. Following records of D. traunsteineroides from Barnby and Carlton in 2004, Steve Abbott photographed plants at Thorpeness which closely resembled this species. Ian Denholm (national referee for Dactylorhiza) commented that they were intermediate between Narrow-leaved and Southern Marsh orchid. Edgar Milne-Redhead recorded Narrow-leaved Marsh Orchid at Eastbridge in the 1980s in a marsh which is only about 2 km from the Haven. Orchis anthropophora (Aceras anthropophorum), Man Orchid. Sizewell, rabbit grazed lawn with Bee Orchids (Ophrys apifera), TM4763, 14 June, Susan Stone and Alan Miller. A surprising new site for this endangered species, well away from the other Suffolk sites on chalk and boulder clay in the middle of the county. Presumably it has arisen naturally from wind-blown seed. It will be interesting to see if the plants are able to survive in the long term. References Clement, E. J. & Foster, M. C. (1994). Alien plants of the British Isles. Botanical Society of the British Isles, London. Foley, M. J. Y. & Clarke, S. (2005). Orchids of the British Isles. Griffin Press, Cheltenham. Preston, C. D., Pearman, D. A. & Dines, T. D. Eds. (2002). New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Sell, P. D. & Murrell G. (1996). Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, 5 Butomaceae-Orchidaceae. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Sell, P. D. & Murrell G. (2006). Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, 4 Campanulaceae-Asteraceae. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 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.

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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Plate 1: Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Lepidium ruderale. A specimen collected by Tony Butcher from Norwich Road, Ipswich TM1447, June 2005. An annual, or rarely biennial, herb of banks and bare waste land near the sea, and increasingly as a halophyte on salted verges of major roads. (p. 93).

PLANT RECORDING IN 2005  

Martin Sanford

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