Isles of Scilly
New sightings and updates from the Isles of Scilly 2012 – Rosemary Parslow BSBI recorder for Isles of Scilly
At the ‘review of 2012’ Botanical Cornwall Group meeting on Saturday 23rd February 2013, which was held at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust at Allet, Rosemary Parslow reported on some exciting new finds on the islands and updated the group on the state of some of the sites of others. All photos are Rosemary’s so if anyone is interested in using them in other media please contact Rosemary here or email email@example.com
The following is her report – “
“Every year there are some changes to the flora of the islands, these are some that are of interest.
Chilean-iris Libertia formosa is a garden escape that is spreading along coastal heath on St Mary’s well away from habitations. The agency is unknown.
Chilean-iris Libertia formosa
Cape Bugle-lily Watsonia borbonica is spreading in the dunes on Tresco.
Cape Bugle-lily Watsonia borbonica
The colony of Chilean Hard-fern Blechnum cordatum , an alien fern that has been known in a ditch on St Mary’s for many decades appears to have spread slightly along the ditch. Marvel-of-Peru Mirabilis jalapa has been found in a dune on the west of St Mary’s.
Marvel-of-Peru Mirabilis jalapa
Marvel-of-Peru Mirabilis jalapa
Cape Tulip Moraea collina is found in a similar situation, both presumably garden throw-outs.
Cape Tulip Moraea collina
The tiny Scilly Pigmyweed Crassula decumbens is gradually extending its range along paths on Halangy Down, St Mary’s.
Scilly Pigmyweed Crassula decumbens
A larger relative, Fairy Crassula Crassula multicava, once only found around the Gardens on Tresco, has now been found in hedgebanks on St Mary’s and St Martin’s.
Fairy Crassula Crassula multicava
The pernicious habit of sowing ‘conservation’ seed mixtures in arable fields has resulted in a mass of Moon Daisies replacing the former unusual arable weed community!
The ferns Wall Rue Asplenium ruta-muraria and Maidenhair Spleenwort Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens are both uncommon in Scilly, both have slightly increased recently. The Wall Rue in this photo shows the thickening of the fronds found where plants are exposed to salt spray close to the coast.
Wall Rue Asplenium ruta-muraria
The only colony of Wild Leek Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (the rare subspecies, not Babington’s Leek A. ampeloprasum var. babingtonii), grows in one place on the Garrison – it is recovering well after being accidentally mown down by a conservation volunteer!
Wild Leek Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum
A fine patch of Rough-fruited Buttercup Ranunculus muricatus was found in the corner of a well-used green under a garden seat. Other arable species that are doing well are Corn Marigold Glebionis segetum and Western Ramping-fumitory Fumaria occidentalis.
Rough-fruited Buttercup Ranunculus muricatus
The lovely Brackish Water-crowfoot Ranunculus baudotii is only now known from the pool on St Martin’s and possibly is just hanging on in a small pool on Bryher. At one time the plant occurred in every pond on Scilly, the reason for the decline is unknown. Similarly Cornish Moneywort Sibthorpia europea is now down to one patch in a ditch, all the former sites have been lost.
Brackish Water-crowfoot Ranunculus baudotii
Cornish Moneywort Sibthorpia europea
A new colony of Carrot Broomrape Orobanche minor var. maritima was discovered on the roadside at Carn Thomas, St Mary’s, and when we were on Bryher Claire Roper discovered a patch of the very rare Sea Knotgrass Polygonum maritimum at the top of the beach.
Sea Knotgrass Polygonum maritimum
As a footnote the reddish colouring that is frequently seen in Scilly plants was mentioned: Red Campion Silene dioica being often suffused with red; the red form of ); and the orange-red flowers of Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus.”
White Clover Trifolium repens var. townsendii