Botanically, Arran’s chief claim to fame is its pair of endemic Sorbus species, S. arranensis and S. pseudofennica, and the recently recognised S. pseudomeinichii. Prior to 1950, there are more Arran records for Sorbus and Mertensia than for all other species combined! However, the island has much more to offer, including two endemic hawkweeds, and while the mountains, being granite, are floristically unremarkable and large tracts of the interior are undeniably dull, the raised beaches and their associated cliffs are very rich. Bute, though less than a third of the size of Arran, and with half its area devoted to intensive farming, boasts a similar number of species (around 800) in a total area of little more than a hectad. In this respect, Great Cumbrae is equally impressive, with over 600 species in an area equal to just three tetrads. Neither of these islands possesses any notable rarities, but the sheer variety in a small compass ensures that most visitors quickly find something unfamiliar.
The three main islands are easily accessed by ferry, and botanical visitors are especially welcomed. Any records should be sent to the v.c. recorder, preferably by e-mail.