BSBI long colour


Cornwall, 1 & 2


Botanical Cornwall Group Co-ordinator

Ian Bennallick Lower Polmorla, St. Wenn, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5PE

Tel: 01726 890384 or 07714 738189.



All walks start off at 10am (so try to get to the meeting place by 9.30am) and usually finish at around 4pm. Meetings are open to all and are free unless otherwise stated. Bring hand-lens, notebooks and field guides if you wish, relevant OS 1:25000 maps and a GPS if you have one. Suitable clothing and footwear is recommended and bring a packed lunch. If the weather is very wet (or forecast to be) the meeting may be cancelled – contact the co-ordinator beforehand to check.

Meetings for 2014 are yet to be finalised.


Botanical Cornwall 2013

Number 15 is in preparation for publishing in 2011, so if you have any new of interesting records, or wish to submit an article regarding recording in Cornwall and/or the Isles of Scilly please contact the editors:

>> I.J. Bennallick and D.A. Pearman


Botanical Cornwall 2010

>> Download BC2010 here (pdf 4Mb)

Botanical Cornwall 14 (2010) is available as a printed document from ERCCIS, Five Acres, Allet, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DJ for 7 incl. p&p in UK (please send a cheque made out to Cornwall Wildlife Trust)


Local Links

Botanical Cornwall Group

Environmental Records Centre

Federation of Biological Recorders



>> Davey’s Tentative List 1902 (pdf 6.6 MB)

>> Davey’s Flora of Cornwall 1909 (pdf 14 MB)



Ferns, Clubmosses, Quillworts and Horsetails of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Rosaline Murphy, Christopher Page, Rosemary Parslow and Ian Bennallick

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have a remarkably rich and varied fern flora, and this book is the culmination of many years of study of these enigmatic plants. An invaluable guide to over 70 ferns, clubmosses, quillworts and horsetails, this book covers species (both native and introduced), subspecies, varieties and hybrids. Each account has a short description of the plant where relevant; the distribution in Europe (including the British Isles); and habitats and distribution in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Maps show distribution on a tetrad basis in Cornwall and at a finer resolution in the Isles of Scilly. Scanned images of actual specimens are given where these help and colour photographs are included throughout. The introduction covers the various habitats in Cornwall, the climate, soils and geology and the effects of such activities as mining and china clay workings, and the special conditions on the Isles of Scilly.

Many interesting records have been made in the last few years. These include the 2012 finds on the edge of Bodmin Moor: populations of Marsh Clubmoss, a species that has always been extremely rare in Cornwall and is now Nationally Scarce and Endangered, together with Stag’s-horn Clubmoss, a species previously considered extinct in the county.

Published by the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS), which is based at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, it has been sponsored by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation of Biological Recorders (CISFBR), the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) and the British Pteridological Society (BPS).

If you would like a copy by post please send your name and address and a cheque made payable to 'CISFBR' for 25 (= 20 plus 5 p&p) to Ian Bennallick, Lower Polmorla, St Wenn, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5PE. For more details email Ian Bennallick  or phone 01726890384 or 07714738189.

The book is also available to buy from the ERCCIS office (based at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Five Acres, Allet, Truro, TR4 9DJ) priced 20.


Report on 2012

It has been an interesting year for species we had thought were probably extinct in Cornwall or getting very close to being declared so. John Sproull found a huge colony of Marsh Clubmoss (Lycopodiella inundata) at Park Pit (SX17) on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor, on an old mica dam as part of old china clay workings. This hadn't been seen at its last remaining site (Retire Common SX06) since 2008 despite regular searching. As I was mapping the colony at Park Pit I came across two patches of Stag's-horn Clubmoss (Lycopodium clavatum) a species recorded sparingly in the past with the last record (probably correct, as it was for a site very close to Park Pit) in the late 1980s.

Then a chance comment by a friend of Nick Sleep mentioned that she had Corn Buttercup (Ranunculus arvensis) in her garden gathered from seed from plants she found in her arable fields near St Dominick, on the west side of the River Tamar, last seen there in 2000 (but unreported). This has always been rarely recorded in Cornwall and the last one is for 1974 near Liskeard (SX36), but without a specific locality. We searched the field in late summer and Paul Gainey found a few plants with their fantastic spiny seeds and bright yellow flowers, in roughly the place where they had been seen before. Interestingly the field has several arable plant species which were recorded as associates to Ranunculus arvensis in its Devon sites by Nick Stewart a few years ago.

A very late record came to light (yesterday!) and we can now confirm that Shepherd's-needle (Scandix pecten-veneris) is no longer considered extinct in Cornwall. It had hung on - JUST- on a bit of open Cornish hedge/wall next to previously cultivated fields at Porth Joke (SW76) until 2005, when just one plant was found by Hazel Meredith, down from about 60 plants in 1986. A couple of days ago, a friend of a friend of Hazel's presented her with a fruit which she knew was from Shepherd's-needle. It transpired that on a tenanted farm south of St Issey (SW97) the tenant farmer had got his combine harvester clogged with the plant's seeds whilst combining in part of a field. It was abundant in an area of about 50 m by 20 m. On a visit yesterday the field is now under winter corn, but (much to the farmer's dismay) I found many small seedlings, but have arranged to collect some plants before the field is sprayed next year.

With the re-discovery of Perennial Centaury (Centaurium scilloides), Beech Fern (Phegopteris connectilis) and Blunt-flowered Rush (Juncus subnodulosus) in Cornwall in the last couple of years it shows that chance discovery or educated guesses may provide us with others in 2013. Can anyone find Strapwort (Corrigiola litoralis) at Loe Pool (SW62), or Purple Spurge (Euphorbia peplis) or Cottonweed (Otanthus maritimus) on a beach somewhere?

One species which we would like to find, or at least get the most recent record date, is Small-flowered Tongue-orchid (Serapias parviflora). All enquiries I have made leads to 2008 as the most recent year seen on its sole British site, in a field near Penlee Point, SX44. If anyone has seen it since then PLEASE let me know.

>> Ian Bennallick