Sunday, 5 February 2017

Botanising in Scotland Part 2: Tayside, Culbin & More.

The second installment from our botanising holiday in Scotland last July. This one mainly focusing around the Tayside area but also a few plants from The Culbin Forest, Burghead and Dumfrieshire.

This is the bank of the River Tay on the southern outskirts of Perth a great place to find naturalised alien plants such as this Coneflower - Rudbeckia laciniata a native of north-eastern America.

Here with Milky Bellflower - Campanula lactiflora native to Turkey and the Caucasus.

We visited Stormont Loch near Blairgowrie looking for the rare Tufted Loosetrife but we couldn't find it on this occasion, we may have been too late in the season.We saw some very nice plants in the area though especially in the arable field margins and hedgerows.

Common Fiddleneck - Amsinckia micrantha

Another plant originally from North America but long established as an arable weed in the UK. This was the first time I'd seen it. It's very photogenic! 

Red Berried Elder - Sambucus racemosa

Large-flowered Hemp-nettle - Galeopsis speciosa

I've been wanting to see this plant for ages, it only occurs in the north of the country so I don't have much chance to look for it. Fortunately it was growing profusely in an arable margin with its relative Common Hemp Nettle - Galeopsis tetrahi. It doesn't look much to look at in this photo but up close it's simply gorgeous!


Hoverflies like it too, this one is probably Platycheirus sp.

Umbrella Liverwort sporaphytes, looking like a little forest of palm trees.

Umbrella Liverwort- Marchantia polymorpha 

This is Motherwort an ancient introduction used in medicine during the Middle Ages, seen here growing on a wooded roadside verge near Logierait.

Motherwort - Leonurus cardiaca

With hoverfly again possibly of the genus Platycheirus.

The next few plants were in the Keltneyburn area near to Loch Tay, we were a bit on the late side to see most of them but a few were just hanging on. On the Keltneyburn reserve I saw Small White Orchid and Spignel for the first time but both were in seed and not very photogenic. Hopefully I'll be able to go back some time to see them in their prime. I also wasn't expecting to see Globeflower as they usually flower much earlier in the year. Somehow Andy spotted a single late flower and although I'm sure they look spectacular in large numbers, I was more than happy to see this one and it looked beautiful just by itself.

Globeflower - Trollius europaeus 

Nearby on a roadside bank was a small patch of the rare Small Cow-wheat

 Small Cow-wheat - Melampyrum sylvaticum

Whorled Solomon's Seal - Polygonatum verticillatum 
This grows on a wooded bank of the River Lyon, again we were too late to see flowers but there was a single fruit on one plant. 

Common Blue Sow-thistle - Cicerbita macrophylla
We spotted a large patch of this from the car and stopped to get some photos, quite a common plant apparently but one I don't remember having seen before.
Scots Lovage - Ligusticum scoticum
Another plant we were lucky to see in flower in late July. We saw this at Burghead, where we went looking for Oysterplant but failed to find any.
Serrated Wintergreen - Orthilia secunda
Again only in fruit in late July, but easily recognisable by the serrated leaf margins and the fruits all being down one side of the stem. Another one that I'm really looking forward to seeing in flower one day. This was in the Culbin Forest, where there was also several other species of Wintergreen and lots of Creeping Lady's-tresses but mostly going over. I got better photos of these in the Loch Garten area which will feature in another post.

Heath Cudweed - Gnaphalium sylvaticum
Giant Hogweed - Heracleum mantegazzianum 

A problematic invasive alien plant but undeniably spectacular. One I'd never seen before. You can't really get an idea of the size from this photo so here's another complete with yours truly for scale! 

Finally a plant we went to see in Dumfrieshire on the way home. 

Purple Ramping Fumitory - Fumaria purpurea


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