This page highlights some of my botanical findings, with a special emphasis on those of floristic interest such as new-to-the-area records. I cannot thank enough referees from the BBS (British Bryological Society) and BSBI (Botanical Society of the Britain and Ireland) for confirming the identification of my specimens.
- The moss Grimmia trichophylla, was found by Tom Ottley and I in Herstmonceux Castle on a garden wall during the British Bryological Society spring meeting 2014. This moss, known as the Hair-pointed Grimmia, has been reported in the past for VC14 East Sussex but without any specimens for several decades and it is generally speaking scarce in the Southeast of the UK.
- Corsican Toadflax (Cymbalaria hepaticifolia) and Leptinella (Cotula squalida) were observed naturalised at Whirlowbrook Park in Summer 2013. More information about this discovery can be read in this post. They are new to VC57 Derbyshire, new to the Sheffield area, a.k.a. Sorby area, and new to the modern county of South Yorkshire. There is also an account of their discovery in BSBI News no 125 (January 2014).
- Water Bent (Polypogon viridis) new to South Yorkshire (VC63 South-west Yorkshire)! Oli and I discovered several populations across the City in 2013 suggesting it may have been overlooked in the past. We decided to research the spread and distribution of this grass a bit more and you can read about it there.
- Malling Toadflax (Chaenorhinum origanifolium) was found in 2012 by Georgina and I growing on a wall in the centre of Oxford. A little article in BSBI News no 123 (April 2013) relates the discovery of this new plant species for the Flora of VC23 Oxfordshire. This alien plant from the Mediterranean is rarely naturalised in the British Isles but has a stronghold in West Malling in Kent. Are such founder populations of garden escapes tomorrow’s biodiversity under a more Mediterranean climate in the UK?
- Lophosia insisa, a liverwort called Jagged Notchwort in English, was observed by Georgina and I in 2008 in the nature reserve of Wildmoor Heath. It had never been reported before from VC 22 Berkshire and only rarely in Southeast of England. This was a very encouraging finding indeed for one or our first day out mossing. Read more about it on this post.
- Water Bent (Polypogon viridis) was observed in many locations across Reading in 2007, 2008 and 2009 but the first vice-county record for Berkshire is that of Tim Harrison on a pavement in Woodley in … 2006! (see Mick Crawley’s Flora of Berkshire 2014 update)
- Ballota hispanica, a beautiful evergreen shrubby Lamiaceae with lovely soft leaves, grows at the bottom of the St-Jean Cliffs, Geneva, Switzerland. This species is not mentioned in any standard Swiss Floras as far as I am aware. I was finally able to identify correctly my specimen at the Herbarium of the University of Reading with the help of Ronnie Rutherford, to whom I am very grateful (identified as Ballota rupestris (Biv.) Vis., which is synonym of Ballota hispanica )
- Giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis) and hybrid knotweed (Fallopia x bohemica) were confirmed as abundant in several places of Geneva, Switzerland. This was part of my first botanical project which was about the distribution of invasive knotweeds in Geneva. The presence of more than one taxa in Geneva was suspected but had never been thoroughly researched.