Recording in Co. Wexford (v.c. H12) in 2013
Another very successful year, with over 20,000 records collected. As like with the last few years over 80% of the records are from the southern half of the county. Recording took place over the whole year, the month of September being the highest with 4004 records collected, December being the lowest month with 655 records. One of the projects for the year was to start identifying Dryopteris affinis, D. borreri and D. cambrensis instead of lumping them under D. affinis agg. (Scaly Male-fern). D. affinis is proving to be common, D. borreri scattered and D. cambrensis has yet to be found.
Something I had been meaning to do for several years was to check out all the sites for Allium ampeloprasum (Wild Leek), which I had only seen in leaf, to see which variety they were. To my surprised, all but one site were Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum, now known from 6 tetrads within the county. The other site proved to be A. ampeloprasum var. babingtonii growing in several places on the road banks of a T-junction at The Leap (S882.298), this being the first record for the county.
I had two days in mid April collecting Dandelions, half were poorly pressed / dried and not identifiable. Of the rest, 7 were new county records: Taraxacum acutifrons – road verge at Ballynamona, (S820.190); T. argutum – on Abbey Bridge, Kayle (S802.187); T. curtifrons – side of wall, Pollfur (S781.066); T. hamiferum – road bank, Baginbun (S798.033); T. lacerifolium – by Tintern Abbey (S794.099); T. platyglossum – open dune, Booley Bay (S749.060); T. quadrans – on bridge, Bryanstown (S824.177). All determined by John Richards.
Because of illness and work commitments, I spent very little time in the county botanising during 2013. I did managed to find 3 new county records to add to the Taraxacum above: Gaultheria shallon (Shallon) large patch under trees, Edenvale (T040.276), Olearia traversii (Ake-ake) one self-sown on side of wall, Slade (X744.984) and Panicum miliaceum (Common Millet) from 3 locations across the county: Bridgetown (S98.09), Kilrane (T13.10) & New Ross (S72.27).
Work towards a Flora of Wexford would not be possible without the help from local and visiting botanists. Below I have mentioned all the highlights that each individual who sent in records or did some recording with me during the year.
Dominic Berridge sent me a photo of Chaenorhinum minus (Small Toadflax) to identify for him from a flower border at Ballyshannon (S852.248), this being a new hectad record.
Zoe Devlin found Veronica agrestis (Green Field-speedwell) & Oenothera glazioviana (Large-flowered Evening-primrose) in Ambrosetown Cemetery (S909.117), the latter new for the hectad.
Eamon Gaughan & Pat Lenihan found Puccinellia distans (Reflexed Saltmarsh-grass) in a dune slack on Ballyteige Burrows (S94.05), a new tetrad record. Their Polygonum oxyspermum subsp. raii (Ray's Knotgrass) from the strandline at Ballyteigue (S946.051) is also a new tetrad record and the first from the hectad since 1990.
Shane Farrel found a few plants of Senecio aquaticus (Marsh Ragwort) in the marsh south of Cahore Point (T24), the first record for the hectad since 1990.
Roger Goodwillie was surprised to come across Geranium columbinum (Long-stalked Crane's-bill) on the side of a narrow field west of Doo Lough (T098.296), a new hectad record.
While visiting the back of Bannow Bay with Adeline L’Hemann and Olivier Martin, and looking at Carex distans (Distant Sedge) along the wet margin of the road, just up from St Kieran’s Quay (S811.094), we noticed 22 plants of Centaurium pulchellum (Lesser Centaury). This is a new hectad record, 13 kilometres further west than the nearest county site at The Cull, Ballyteigue. Interestingly enough, I had walked along this stretch of road many times before, as it is the nearest stretch of coast to my house.
Jane Musgrove sent in records collected since 2011 from the Kilmichael & Kilpatrick area (T26), a number of these were new for the hectad including Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) & Trifolium micranthum (Slender Trefoil). Jane’s Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine) was the first record from the northern part of the county since 1992.
Paula O’Meara, now joint BSBI vice-county recorder with me, added 6 new county records: Allium christophii on waste ground at Campile (S723.154), Crambe maritima (Sea-kale) two plants on shingle at Churchtown (X734.987), an escape from a nearby garden, Euphorbia amygdaloides subsp. robbiae (Turkish Wood Spurge) by the site of a derelict farm at Stokestown (S695.231), Malcolmia maritima (Virginia Stock) several plants flowering, self-seeded between graves, Ballyhack Graveyard (S710.105), Rubus tricolor (Chinese Bramble) self-seeded on lane ditch at Great Island (S685.165) and Vitis vinifera (Grape-vine) established by a fence at Horeswood (S718.160).
Sylvia Reynolds updated a tetrad record for Veronica polita (Grey Field-speedwell) by MacMurrough House (S73.29), last reported from S72J in 1995.
Markus Schmidt had Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel) on the sea-cliffs at Cahore Point (T22.47), a species which seems to be confined to the coast in the county.
Frankie Tennant & Roy Watson found Poterium sanguisorba subsp. sanguisorba (Salad Burnet) on the side of a forest road at Ballycrystal (S867.514) where it is likely to be an introduction brought in with gravel to build the forest road, a new hectad record. Trifolium occidentale (Western Clover) from the cliffs at Sandeel Bay (S76.01) is the first record from the Hook Head peninsula. Their Scutellaria minor (Lesser Skullcap) from Shelmaliere Commons (S980.189) is only the fourth county record since 1991. Roy Watson told me about Medicago sativa subsp. varia (Sand Lucerne) at Grogan Burrow (T076.052) which I thought was a new county record until he told me he had known it there for at least 25 years. He then told me it used to grow by the old bacon factory (T054.212) in Wexford town. I checked out both and sure enough it was there in both sites.
The records for the county have been analysed to see where there are gaps and which parts of the county needs attention. Of the 688 whole or part tetrads that fall within Wexford there are 96 with no records, 147 tetrads with 20 or less species, 123 tetrads with 21 to 100 species, 178 tetrads with 101 to 200 species, 101 tetrads with 201 to 299 species. Of the remaining 43 tetrads, 4 have over 400 species recorded, the highest being S71C with 467 species. This tetrad includes Dunbrody Abbey, some very rich brackish marsh with species like Carex divisa (Divided Sedge) and Hordeum secalinum (Meadow Barley). A list of 211 species not recorded from the county post 2000 has been drawn up. Of these 115 are native. It is hoped in 2014 that some of the native species will be refound and some of the tetrads with no records will be visited. If you would like to take on a tetrad or like to try and refind a species please do get in touch.