Tuesday, January 03, 2017

New Year Plant Hunt

Six of us set out on a very cold but sunny morning at Ystradgynlais - one of the farthest corners of Brecknock.
Gary, Heather, Arlene, Chris and Steph on the old railway path at Ystradgynlais

We walked just over 3 miles around the town and the old mining area. As usual most finds were in the built up parts but our excursion  along the old railway line through the reclaimed pit area (and BWT Nature Reserves) rewarded us with male and female Hazel flowers / catkins and Barren Strawberry in full - if rather green - flower. Many of the casuals in town were hardly open but I adopted a rule of "count it if a petal can be seen"! Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was a patch of flowering Dog's Mercury. I didn't use the App in the end as gloves were essential so conventional recording with a card was employed. For similar reasons I got my camera out very little!

The rather sorry Red Clover we found.
Red Clover, Meillionen goch or Trifolium pratense

Here is the list we got - 23 which is a good number for Brecknock at this time of year.

Annual Meadow-grass         Poa annua
Barren Strawberry           Potentilla sterilis
Common Chickweed            Stellaria media
Common Mouse-ear            Cerastium fontanum
Daisy                       Bellis perennis
Dandelion                   Taraxacum agg.
Dog's Mercury               Mercurialis perennis
Gorse                       Ulex europaeus
Groundsel                   Senecio vulgaris
Hazel                       Corylus avellana
Himalayan Honeysuckle       Leycesteria formosa
Ivy                         Hedera helix sens. lat.
Lesser Celandine            Ficaria verna
Petty Spurge                Euphorbia peplus
Pineappleweed               Matricaria discoidea
Procumbent Pearlwort        Sagina procumbens
Red Clover                  Trifolium pratense
Shepherd's-purse            Capsella bursa-pastoris
Sweet Alison                Lobularia maritima
Wall Speedwell              Veronica arvensis
Wavy Bitter-cress           Cardamine flexuosa
Wood Avens                  Geum urbanum
Yellow Crocus               Crocus x luteus

It turns out that the Himalayan Honeysuckle, Leycesteria formosa may be a first record for the 10km square (SN70). We saw it twice and it would seem to be well established in the wild around the old mining areas.

(The crocus was well established in a small green but almost certainly planted at some time.)

There were plenty of fungi to see including this, found by Chris Jones from Brecknock Wildlife Trust who told us about many of the fungi we saw:
Scarlet Elfcup or Sarcoscypha austriaca