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Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 48

Some interesting plant records from Herbaria I am grateful to Dr Bob Leaney for sending me details of some interesting additions to the Suffolk Flora that he has found in the herbarium at Norwich Castle Museum (NWH). Norfolk Comfrey was first described as a new nothospecies Symphytum × norvicense by Leaney and O’Reilly (2009) with the putative parents S. asperum and S. orientale. This taxon, which is a stable hybrid that can reproduce by seed, was first recorded from Intwood, East Norfolk v.c. 27, England, in 1999 by Bob Leaney. Since then, it has been noticed in about 15 sites, all in v.c. 27, East Norfolk. Stace (2010) has suggested it is endemic, but probably did not originate in the wild in Britain. The specimen Bob found and identified at Norwich Castle is therefore particularly important in being not only the first Suffolk record, but also the earliest specimen of this hybrid. It was deposited at by E. A. (Ted) Ellis in 1958; he had obviously been in some doubt about the id as it was labelled S. caucasicum and then altered to S. asperum. The plant was found at Copdock (TM14A) near Ipswich in 1957 and had been grown on in a garden by Ellis before he made the specimen (Accession No. 1948 242). Bob describes it as a ‘very typical example of S. x norvicense with the distinctive combination of 2/5 dissected calyx, short petiole, non-decurrent stem leaves with truncate-rounded bases and an indumentums on the stem composed mainly of fine hairs rather than thick bulbous-based bristles’. It seems to be a long-lived plant at several of its Norfolk sites and it is worth looking for in Copdock to see if it has survived. The other specimen from Norwich is an Orache; either Long-stalked Orache Atriplex longipes or its hybrid Kattegat Orache A. x gustafssoniana. It was collected at Burgh Castle (TG40X) by Miss R. M. Barnes on 31 August 1963 (Accession No. 1963 482). Found beside the river wall, a large bushy plant. Labelled as A. hastata (=prostrata). Oraches are a tricky group, understandably avoided by many botanists and I am grateful to Bob for taking the time to critically examine this specimen by measuring the bracteoles and bracteole stalks and comparing it with others including material from the Tascherau collection at MANCH. This adds a second East Suffolk record for this tricky species/hybrid complex – the other being Landguard Common. It may well occur elsewhere on the Suffolk coast. The efforts of the BSBI’s Herbaria@home project, which has photographed and put online, many specimens from Museum collections, continue to provide new Suffolk records. A specimen (Fig. 1) of Hedgehog Clover Trifolium echinatum collected at Felixstowe Docks (TM2832) by J. E. (Ted) Lousley on 27 May 1939 is now in the E. C. Wallace collection at the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI). This is the first and only Suffolk record of this scarce casual from SE Europe.

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 48 (2012)



Figure 1. Specimen of Trifolium echinatum collected at Felixstowe Docks by Ted Lousley in 1939. References Leaney, R. M. & O’ Reilly C. L. (2009). A new nothospecies in Symphyum L. (Boraginaceae). Watsonia 27: 372–374. Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles. 3rd edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Martin Sanford SBRC, Ipswich Museum, High Street, Ipswich , Suffolk IP1 3QH

Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 48 (2012)

Some interesting plant records from Herbaria  

Martin Sanford

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