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Newsletter Issue 5 | 2018

2018 was a certainly busy one!


We saw the start of a brand new
recording project at Woodgate Valley,
we used drones to help survey Sutton
Park and there was some very good
news from The Leasowes…
We hope you enjoy reading about it
and join us next year for more
recording!

In this Issue:
Woodgate Valley
- the first year of a new project to record
the flora of this important site

Sutton Park
An update on Lichen, Bryophyte and Fungi recording – plus
we use a drone to capture some amazing aerial footage.

The Leasowes
Introducing Birmingham and the Black Country’s newest SSSI!
Plus, other highlights from 2018
including site visit reports from:
Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)
Woodgate Valley, July 2018 Pelsall North Common | Balaam’s Wood

SAVE THE DATE!


The 2019 AGM will take place Other dates for your diary:
at 11am on
Provisional Field Recording Dates 2019
Saturday 6th April 2019 13/06/2019 – Sandwell Valley Grass Species ID
Woodgate Valley Visitor Centre, BSBI Atlas 2020 – VC39
Woodgate Valley Country Park SP08 has a shortfall of records so we plan to focus
some recording in this square on the following dates
Clapgate Lane
(the exact details will be circulated nearer to the time):
Bartley Green, Birmingham 10/04/2019 | 08/05/2019
B32 3DS. 10/07/2019 | 15/08/2019
After the AGM we plan to record some of the valley’s hedgerow flora 11/09/2019
Hope to see you there!
2 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

One to Look Out for #1:


Choke
Epichloë sp
Choke Epichloë sp. is a fungus that forms a sterilising
‘collar’ round the stem of certain grasses, reducing
Epichloë typhina
flowering and seed production - known as Grass choke
on Poa pratensis
disease. photo by Philipp Resl

Epichloë species are ecologically significant through their During surveys in Woodgate Valley this year we discovered it
effects on host plants. Their presence has been shown to on Red Fescue Festuca rubra and Creeping Soft-grass Holcus
alter the composition of plant communities by restricting mollis.
the reproduction of its host plant.
We have now recorded it on three separate grass species in
There are several different species of Epichloë in the UK, B&BC, suggesting that at least three different types could be
and each one affects a specific grass species or closely- involved. Members should look out for it during the summer
related group of species. and record the grass species it is infecting.

One to Look Out for #2:


Hart’s-tongue Fern
Sandwell Valley

Fern expert Matt Busby (writing in the August 1979


Sandnats Bulletin) reported that Hart's-tongue Fern
Asplenium scolopendrium rarely occurs in Sandwell
Valley. His forays found one stunted solitary plant on
the mortar of a pedestrian bridge on the Tame Valley
Canal at High Bridges.

Since that time, there has been a considerable


increase in tree cover in the Valley and it appears that
conditions have steadily changed to the liking of this
fern. POINT NOTES
A 2 plants towards eastern end of wood prior to reaching M5 bank
In 2018 Hart’s-tongue Fern was located at various B 2 plants on bank on M5 side of path leading to Ice House Pool
locations in Sandwell Valley – see map (right). C 1 plant on right of obscure path by Priory Woods signpost
1 large specimen on M5 side of track between Ice House Pool and
D
If you come across any other locations in the Valley for Orangery Pool shortly before reaching old colliery railway
this fern, please let us know. To help us to precisely E at least 6 small plants on bank of overflow stream from Orangery Pool
map the record, we would need at least an eight- F 1 plant on side of ditch along track 80m east of Orangery Pool
figure grid reference (e.g. SP02509140). G/H 1 large specimen on rock on west side of pool + 1 plant on south bank
I colony of 50+ plants on bank at southern end of pool
The website http://gridreferencefinder.com/ is very 1 plant on steep bank on bank of track running parallel with M5 where
J
useful for finding precise grid references. path from Footprint Pool and Swan Pool converge
3 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

WOODGATE VALLEY FLORA


At the Society's AGM in March 2018, a proposal to record the botanical interest of the Woodgate Valley Country Park at the
south-western edge of Birmingham was agreed. Below is an account of the first year of recording.
The Country Park, designated in 1984, is an extensive area
(circa 180 hectares, one-fifth the size of Sutton Park) of
undeveloped land of considerable importance and nature
conservation significance. It is designated as a Local Nature
Reserve, with large areas also identified as Sites of
Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and Sites of
Local Importance for Nature Conservation (SLINC) which
provide additional planning policy protection.

Watery Lane – a medieval trackway

A sunny May Day saw the first Society visit to Woodgate


Valley Country Park. Four of us began the recording of the
valley's flora at the western end at Watery Lane, a medieval
trackway with old hedgerows and trees and fringing stream,
moving on to examine a stretch of the Bourn Brook further
eastwards. A good woodland flora was in evidence with native
The wooded valley of the Bourn Brook Bluebell, Wood Anemone, violets and Dog's Mercury and
Tutsan Hypericum androsaemum was found beside the
The Country Park has a large matrix of habitats and plant stream. Five species of fern were recorded, including a
communities and also harbours much of historical and specimen of Polypody fern Polypodium interjectum? (tbc).
archaeological importance. Focussed on the valley of the
A pair of Buzzards circled overhead, Orange-tips benefitted
Bourn Brook and two of its tributaries, it comprises a key
from the sunshine and some Swallows swooped low over the
wildlife corridor linking many of the other important nature
horse pastures. It was a good start to the season's recording
conservation sites and corridors in the south and west of
efforts.
the city to the open countryside of Worcestershire further
to the west. The second visit began at the eastern end of the Country Park
at the eastern end of Wentworth Way, crossing West
It was last recorded as part of the recording work for the
Boulevard and following the course of the Bourn Brook as far
Birmingham & Black Country Flora, about 15 - 20 years ago.
as the first footbridge. Displays of woodland flora were in
Botanical recording was undertaken over 23 dates and a evidence including Wood Anemone, Wild Garlic and Greater
suite of landscape and habitat photographs were taken on Stitchwort. At the very eastern end, a male Grey Wagtail
3 dates. Myself and 10 Society members were involved in bobbed along cobbles in the brook. A single Brimstone
the botanical recording. In excess of 2,900 botanical butterfly fluttered along the path beside the brook in the main
records were collected. valley. A visit was made to the nearby meadow south of the
4 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

brook close to West Boulevard where a fantastic display of In June the recording focussed on an outlying area of the
cowslips can be seen. Country Park at Kitwell, a short walk from the Visitor Centre
and which represents an eastern continuation of the ancient
Illey countryside, in particular some of the species-rich
meadows, which overlook the M5 and the Illey area beyond.

The meadows have a neutral base status but also have some
damp tendencies in places making them species-rich and
containing some of our more unusual species. These include
Great Burnet, Betony, Oval Sedge, Ragged-robin, Bistort, and
two species of orchid. We were holding out some hope that
we might have been able to find Saw-wort Serratula tinctoria,
an unusual plant known from this type of meadow and at this
location. A field pond supported Greater Spearwort and
Eastern meadow
nearby dampness Great Horsetail.

At the end of May, two of the visits focused on ancient


trackways and their adjacent habitats, one running east from
nearby the Visitor Centre and the other at the western end
of the valley near the Quinton Expressway, where there is
also a deeply incised stream and partly culverted, running
south to the Bourn Brook. Both have rich hedgerows, are
well-wooded and have a varied woodland flora with native
Bluebell and Greater Stitchwort. We also visited a remnant
of ancient woodland along Clapgate Lane with some large
mature oaks but in need of management.
One of the ponds

Further recording of the meadows and other habitats in this


area has revealed more about the good botanical quality of
this part of the Country Park. Southern Marsh-orchid
Dactylorhiza praetermissa, Common Spotted-orchid D.
fuchsii, and the hybrid between these two species D. x
grandis were recorded, in addition to Devil's-bit Scabious and
more examples of meadow species referred to above.

We have still to locate Saw-wort, Lady's Mantle and


Spreading Meadow-grass Poa humilis, a slightly more unusual
Ancient woodland grass species. A return to check further in 2019 is a must.

Along the trackway north of the Bourn Brook at the western In the damper areas, at the base of the slope close to the M5
end, we found native Black Poplar Populus nigra subsp Motorway, there are good populations of Giant Horsetail. We
betulifolia, Bistort Persicaria bistorta, Soft Shield-fern also found Choke fungus Epichloë sp., a group of species
Polystichum setiferum and notably Bitter-vetch Lathyrus associated with various grasses, in several places; in this case
linifolius in a broad-leaved form. Orange-tip butterflies were found on both Red Fescue and Creeping Soft-grass.
much in evidence on both visits.
Given the hot sunny weather, there was no shortage of
butterflies and day-flying moths. The meadows were notable
for populations of Burnet Companion and Silver-Y, and the
more unusual Chimney Sweeper supported by good
scatterings of its host plant, Pignut. Large Skipper was also
seen.
5 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

The 19th June saw a Botanical Society field visit led by Ian Late June and early July's visits focussed on the south-facing
Trueman when we re-visited the low-lying area parallel to slope of the main Woodgate Valley, particularly the central
the Bourn Brook at the western end of the main valley which and western compartments.
we recorded during the work for the Flora. Previously, there
was much plant diversity in the marsh, wet grassland and Here are areas of plantation, secondary woodland (hiding
meadow. Since, willow scrub, tall herbs and bramble have some former old hedgerows), scrub, tall herb and fern, and a
invaded to reduce the area of greatest interest. large flat meadow at the western end. This meadow is
naturally dampish, though not given the scorching weather
we experienced. It is quite diverse with a flower-rich sward
with pockets of hybrid Common Spotted x Southern Marsh-
orchids in several places. Also of note is a patch of Hoary
Ragwort Senecio erucifolius formed of several plants towards
the eastern end. Explosions of ringlet butterflies and several
marbled whites were a feature during the recording work. It
was important to finish the meadow recording before the
middle of July, as the 15th was the date for the
commencement of the Valley's mowing regimes.

Tall herb and scrub

To our surprise, elements of the botanical interest remained


though the area is reduced. Six species of sedge were
recorded including Hairy Sedge Carex hirta, Oval Sedge
C. leporina, Carnation Sedge C. panicea, Cyperus Sedge
C. pseudocyperus and the rare Pale Sedge C. pallescens.
Unfortunately, we could not find Meadow Thistle. Choke
fungus was again noted – this time on Creeping Soft-grass.

We strayed into the neighbouring horse-grazed meadow, Secondary woodland


where on the lower slope we found the locally frequent
Southern Marsh-orchid, together with occasional Common Plantations and secondary woodland cloak much of this part
Spotted-orchid, and also hybrids. In the drier meadow, we of the valley, however there is both habitat and botanical
came across several specimens of Common Spotted-orchid, interest. The tree and shrub growth hide some old
and some Smooth Tare, and Bitter-vetch on a hedge bank. hedgerows with banks and ditches and the canopy is open
with glades and a few rides in places. Not enough time was
available to complete the recording, but even so numbers of
Broad-leaved Helleborine Epipactis helleborine were
recorded in two places. Further recording work may reveal
more.

Horse-grazed pastures

We failed to find Grass Vetchling which was a


disappointment. Despite undertaking a good impression of
Broad-leaved Helleborine Epipactis helleborine
jungle trekking at times, we had a very enjoyable day.
6 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

Later in July, recording focussed on an outlying area of the In August, further recording of the horse-grazed pastures
Country Park to the south-east near Barnes Hill. took place and along the Bourn Brook and in the adjoining
areas where tall herb and scrub predominate. A small partly
The prospect of this part of the park has changed much with culverted tributary of the brook on its northern flank was
the building of a large supermarket, taking part of the park investigated and its banks supported several good examples
itself and resulting in the movement of the Stonehouse of Soft Shield-fern Polystichum setiferum. Despite being
Brook, a tributary of the Bourn Brook. A sustainable drainage heavily grazed in places, the horse pastures proved
scheme has been constructed using Common Reed botanically interesting, especially where there was some
Phragmites australis. Much of the former grassland in this dampness. Further Hoary Ragwort and patches of
area has now succeeded to scrub, tall herb and bramble. I Sneezewort were recorded, and the defunct hedge
was looking forward to finding Wood Small-reed boundaries appeared to be of some age with banks and
Calamagrostis epigejos but it was not in evidence. The tree ditches in evidence. Botanical interest in the areas of tall
plantations have contributed to areas of secondary herb appears to be limited, though this habitat is important
woodland. Many gatekeeper butterflies were evident along in supporting a range of invertebrates and provides a
the footpaths. valuable food source for many other species including birds
and small mammals. It also provided several boxes of
We also tried again to find Saw-wort in one of the meadows
blackberries for the freezer!
at Kitwell but failed. We also examined the secondary
woodland on the south-facing slope in more detailed fashion All in all, this has been a successful and rewarding project to
discovering many more Broad-leaved Helleborines. There date and well worth undertaking. I would like to thank those
was a great deal of variety in the sizes of plants and the members who have helped with the recording through the
number of flowers of the inflorescences. Some of the tops of summer, including (in no particular order) Anne Brookes,
the plants had been bitten off! At this point the meadow Roger and Pam Parkes, Ali Glaisher, Mike Poulton, Yoke van
management had begun. I noticed that the cowslip meadow der Meer, Charlene Jones, Ian Trueman, Richard Orton and
had been cut and was being baled. I was pleased that the Shirley Hancock. Also a thank you to Sara Carvalho and Andy
meadows have been recorded. Slater from EcoRecord for their support, and the City Council
ranger staff at Woodgate Valley, including Theresa Terry,
Simon Callaghan and Daler Singh.

Further recording will take place in 2019 to re-visit some of


the places alluded to above to see if some key species can be
re-discovered and to record some of the features,
particularly hedgerows, the Kitwell meadows and some of
the horse pastures in need of more attention. Further details
will be provided nearer the time - help greatly appreciated.

It is intended to write up the project in the fullness of time.

Chris Parry MCIEEM C Env


7 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

PELSALL NORTH COMMON


8th August 2018
This is a most interesting Walsall site, comprising . + flowering stands of Fringed Water-lily Nymphoides peltata
significant remnants of wet and dry heathland together and Orange Balsam Impatiens capensis.
with a post-industrial heritage comprising the Wyrley and
Essington and Cannock Extension Canals and the remains
of a huge iron works demolished in the 1920s.

Eleven of us met in the site car park at the end of Wood


Lane at circa SJ015043 at 11 am. This was towards the end
of the long period of dry, very hot weather we experienced
in 2018, so a lot of the early growth had been droughted
out. Nevertheless, there was still a lot to see, especially
along the canals. Group admiring Yellow Water-lily Nuphar lutea and Fringed
Water-lily Nymphoides peltata

There were some loose, floating fragments of rosettes of


narrow, linear leaves which some of us were convinced were
detached plants of Floating Water-plantain Luronium natans
in its submerged form, which differs greatly from the floating
form with its spathulate leaves. Luronium natans has been
recorded well down the Wyrley and Essington in recent years
by Paul Wilkinson and certainly well south of this point.

Grade II Listed Pelsall Works Bridge

We started by the Pelsall Works Bridge over the Wyrley &


Essington Canal. The banks around the grand old bridge
always supported an interesting flora and, despite the
drought, we easily located the garden escapes Soapwort
Saponaria officinalis, Broad-leaved Everlasting-pea
Lathyrus latifolius and Snow-in-summer Cerastium
tomentosum. We moved south down the canal: there is Saponaria officinalis Schoenoplectus lacustris

quite a rich marginal flora, with plenty of Yellow Water-lily


I was keen to explore a fragment of heath east of the canal in
Nuphar lutea, Flowering-rush Butomus umbellatus,
this area.
Common Club-rush Schoenoplectus lacustris and showy
8 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

I had recorded the pungent-scented Heath Groundsel In a less extreme year this open, grassy vegetation includes
Senecio sylvaticus there back in 2008. This had only six many interesting species, such as American Blue-eyed-grass
other recent records, all in the periphery of the Sisyrynchium montanum and Eyebright Euphrasia sp.. The
conurbation (there is also a very recent record at Sutton exposures of what I take to be furnace slag as you approach
Park). the canal junction were dotted with a flowering member of
the Hawkweed Hieracium sabaudum agg., with tall, many-
leaved flowering stems.

Crossing the beginning of the Cannock Extension canal, we


made a detour into SK0204 to look at Friar Pool beyond the
junction. This looks like it comes from seepage from the
canals, but seems to have some antiquity. In 2008 I found
Marsh Speedwell Veronica scutellata there, quite a scarce
plant in the conurbation, and there are older records of
Floating Club-rush Eleogiton fluitans and Floating Water-
plantain Luronium natans there. We were however very
disappointed to find the banks pretty much swamped by a
mixture of the invasive alien species New Zealand
Senecio sylvaticus in heath at Highgate Common, Staffs Pigmyweed Crassula helmsii and Water Fern Azolla
filiculoides, although there were the rosettes of Marsh-
The uncultivated land east of the canal had clearly orchids Dactylorhiza sp. nearby.
scrubbed over considerably since then, and only a very
small heathy area with little more than Mat-grass Nardus
stricta, Heather Calluna vulgaris and Heath Bedstraw
Galium saxatile was found, and only after quite a search. A
large plant of the neophyte Confused Bridewort Spiraea x
pseudosalicifolia present in 2008 was still present,
however!

Crassula helmsii colonising bank of Friar Pool

Heather buzzing with Heather Bees Colletes succinctus

We followed the track back north to the bridge, noting


Dogwood Cornus sanguinea in the hedge and suspecting
the presence of interesting plants in the ditches in the
Azolla filiculoides in Friar Pool
fields beyond the hedge but unwilling to clamber over the
fence.
We retraced our steps and took the eastern side of the
We crossed the bridge and made our way east across the Cannock Arm. This is usually a good place to see Luronium
great plain of spoil derived from the iron works. Here the natans in flower, but the waters seem to have turned rather
drought had indeed scorched the vegetation but we stagnant in the hot weather and we saw no more than the
identified Early Hair-grass Aira praecox, Blue Fleabane submerged rosettes of linear leaves and not so many of
Erigeron acris and Garden Asparagus Asparagus officinalis those. There were also quantities of a narrow-leaved
in the light, crumbly, rather base-rich and doubtless Potamogeton, probably Lesser Pondweed P. pusillus but
moderately phytotoxic substrate. rather fragile, rotting and difficult to determine.
9 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

There was plenty of Arrowhead Sagittaria sagittifolia as


we got into more open water, but mysteriously we saw
no Alisma spp., neither Water-plantain Alisma Plantago-
aquatica nor Narrow-leaved Water-plantain Alisma
lanceolatum.

Marsh Pennywort Hydrocotyle vulgaris

There are areas with Sphagnum, and other mosses, in


particular Common Haircap Polytrichum commune and Bog
Photo by Simon Atkinson
Bead-moss Aulocomnium palustre.
Luronium natans in the Cannock Extension Canal in 2011
There is much Purple Moor-grass Molinia caerulea, Heather
We did not go much further than the first bridge over the and Cross-leaved Heath, sedges including Carnation Sedge
Cannock Extension – Birmingham and the Black Country Carex panicea, Common Sedge Carex nigra and Oval Sedge
ends a few yards north of this bridge. We did move a Carex leporina. Also present are the round, shield-like
little way east into the dry heath and acid grassland. leaves of Marsh Pennywort Hydrocotyle vulgaris, the little
Bent-grass of heathland with pointed ligules and (usually)
Here David Haslam set up an interesting experiment in an awned lemmas Brown Bent Agrostis vinealis, the chunky,
area largely dominated by grasses, especially Mat-grass unawned, many-flowered spikelets of Heath-grass
Nardus stricta. Around 1990 it was divided into twenty- Danthonia decumbens with its blue-green leaves and ligule
five 5m x 5m plots. Five were stripped of their turf, five represented by a ring of hairs, Luzula multiflora var.
had the turf inverted, five had the turf herbicided and congesta, distinguished from large plants of Field Wood-
were then inverted, five were left as controls. After a few rush Luzula campestris by its lack of rhizomes and longer
years excellent Calluna vulgaris/Erica tetralix heathland stamen filaments, usually at least as long as the anthers and
had developed on the stripped plots. The inverted turf the fern so common at Sutton Park: Narrow Buckler
areas also had quite good developments of heathland Dryopteris carthusiana.
species, but rapidly became dominated by Birch
seedlings. We were interested to note that nearly 30 There were many rosettes of Dactylorhiza, and we were
years later the stripped plots still stand out as able to get our eye in for Epilobium palustre, with its very
Calluna/Erica heathland and that Birch scrub dominates narrow, almost linear leaves and its one-sided
the inverted turf treatments. inflorescences with the ripening fruits over-topping the
flowers and Tufted Forget-me-not Myosotis laxa, with much
We crossed the bridge and followed the track west, smaller flowers than Water Forget-me-not Myosotis
which would lead us anti-clockwise around the edge of scorpioides and with the style shorter than the calyx tube at
the site. There is some more created heath north of this flowering. These Forget-me-nots of wet places lack the
track, but south of the track is a sizeable area of mire. hooked hairs on the calyx seen in the dry land Forget-me-
South of that again, is the edge of the Iron Works spoil, nots. On previous visits, we have seen other uncommon
forming a sort of cliff several metres high. mire species here, such as Common Cottongrass
Eriophorum angustifolium and Marsh Arrowgrass Triglochin
The mire is remnant of the old Pelsall North Common
palustris.
before the Ironworks appeared and is still quite rich.
Normally it is very boggy and rather difficult to explore
There are further fragments of remnant heath further west
but after the long drought it was much easier to cross,
but we were flagging a bit in the heat, so from here we
although many of the characteristic species had finished
clambered back onto the plain of spoil and after some
flowering early and were difficult to identify.
confusion found our way south west to the Pelsall Works
Bridge and the car park.
Ian Trueman
10 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

BALAAM’S WOOD
19th April 2018
Balaam’s Wood is a beautiful ancient woodland in Rubery in Clambering down the river bank near the eastern entrance,
the south-western tip of Birmingham – further south than the there were patches of the acid-yellow flowers of Opposite-
Clent Hills and so far west it is on the Wolverhampton/Dudley leaved Golden Saxifrage Chrysosplenium oppositifolium and at
OS Explorer Map rather than the Birmingham one. least one plant of one of the Golden-scaled Male-ferns
Dryopteris affinis agg. – the new crosiers were suitably scaly
It is somewhat beset by housing on its southern, western and and the old leaves had dark blotches at the bases of the pinnae,
northern flanks and by a large factory complex to the east. It all but it was too early and the new leaves had not expanded
lies within SO 9978. Seven of us met Linda, Penny and Geoff sufficiently to allow us to attempt to refer it to one of the three
from the Friends’ Group at 11 am. The River Rea runs along the constituent species (John Day has recorded Dryopteris borreri
southern flank of the wood, with a well-maintained path, and here). We also noted Hart’s-tongue fern Asplenium
we followed this from east to west to start with. scolopendrium in the river banks – it seems to be getting
commoner and commoner – and (less welcome) the shiny
In places, the river and path show the remains of a long-closed
evergreen leaves of Cherry Laurel Prunus laurocerasus and the
railway track, evidenced mainly by some cinders in the river
tiny evergreen leaves of the Box-leaved Honeysuckle Lonicera
banks, but there is plenty of evidence of old wood status along
the main path, with some lovely patches of Wood Anemone pileata, garden escapes both.
Anemone nemorosa in full flower, also Greater Stitchwort
Stellaria holostea and Barren Strawberry Potentilla sterilis. Also
we found one tiny patch of Moschatel Adoxa moschatellina, so
easily missed even a little later in the season. And of course,
drifts of Lesser Celendine Ficaria verna. Most is probably
subspecies fertilis (previously known as Ranunculus ficaria var
fertilis), although later, on the other side of the wood, there
were some larger-flowered plants which had already developed
bulbils in the leaf axils and were recorded as subsp. verna
(which used to be Ranunculus ficaria subsp. bulbifer. Thank
you, Clive Stace!). Chrysosplenium oppositifolium

As we wandered down the path, the stream meandered also,


and crossed under the path to run off to the south. On the
roots of a tree there was a small population of violets in full
flower. The dark spurs of the flowers and the small sepal-
appendages (circa 1-1.5 mm long) suggested Early Dog-violet
Viola reichenbachiana, but the spurs were distinctly grooved,
which the new Viola book by Porter and Foley tell us is
Common Dog-violet Viola riviniana character.
Moschatel Adoxa moschatellina
11 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

I took a very small specimen, and compared it with some


riviniana collected elsewhere, and it had the narrower upper
petals, lower petals with unbranched veins of reichenbachiana.
Little of the pollen appeared to be viable. Possibly the plants
are the hybrid Viola a x bavarica. It would be useful to check if
the plants set any seed.

Yellow Archangel and Ramsons

There is much Wild Garlic Allium ursinum (perhaps too much:


this seems to be a plant which is spreading and becoming more
dominant at many B&BC sites), and also some nice stands of
Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage, also some small patches of
Large Bitter-cress Cardamine amara, quite a different plant
Photo by Jackie Hardy from Cuckooflower Cardamine pratensis. The erect stems are
The Viola in Balaam’s Wood much more leafy and the leaflets are larger and more deeply
crenate. When it flowers, the flowers are white, slightly smaller
Further west, the river valley woodland becomes open scrub. and with conspicuously dark violet anthers. This combination is
Here a stand of Common Bistort Persicaria bistorta was pointed very typical of Alder Alnus glutinosa woodland, which these
out. John Day described this stand as being a small colony in ditches scarcely constitute. John Day describes Large Bitter-
rough grassland to the west of the wood. The site is now in cress as ‘locally common’ in the wood. It seems quite rare now.
quite dense scrub, suggesting that this area is turning from
grassland to woodland. One interesting plant in the scrub was
Bird Cherry Prunus padus: not yet in flower, but the racemose
clusters of flowers, the obovate leaves and the pungent smell
of cyanide from bruising the bark were characteristic. Further
west the scrub does become more like open grassland, with
patches of tall herbs.

After a short lunch break, we turned back along the northern


margin until we re-entered the wood proper. Around the
entrance from the north there is more sign of dumping of
garden waste, including a perennial Geranium (not flowering)
and what appeared to be hybrid Bluebell Hyacinthoides x
massartiana, which may in future start to exchange pollen with
Large Bitter-cress Cardamine amara
the native Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scriptus in the wood and
possibly detract from the latter’s perfect adaptation to the old
woodland habitat. Some of the more open ditches have quite a good sedge flora –
mostly the fine-leaved Remote Sedge Carex remota, but also
Balaam’s Wood proper is a pleasant matrix of dry, managed some broader-leaved Wood-sedge Carex sylvatica and the large
deciduous woodland interspersed with a network of drainage and ubiquitous Pendulous Sedge Carex pendula. The drier parts
channels running south towards the river Rea. Much of the of the wood had drifts of Primrose Primula vulgaris, which,
botanical interest is in these channels which are beset by along with Red Campion Silene dioica had been planted at the
Bramble Rubus fruticosus agg. and Holly Ilex aquifolium, which site by the Friends group.
are quite effective at keeping people (including botanists!) at
bay.
12 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

We failed to find several of the rarities previously recorded


from the wood. Our biggest disappointment was not finding
Alternate-leaved Golden-saxifrage. A much larger plant than
Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage, it is the leaves on the stem
below the inflorescence which are either opposite or alternate.
Balaam’s Wood is the only site where it has been recorded in
B&BC. They grow in similar wet woodland places, often
together; perhaps the alternate-leaved Golden-saxifrage
requires a more base-rich soil.

We were also very disappointed not to find Water Avens Geum


rivale, easily told from the rather obnoxious Wood Avens by its
larger drooping, pinkish flowers, which John Day records as ‘a
few plants in a damp ditch on the east site of the wood’. This is
another plant with very few (or no!) extant records in B&BC; in
a few places there are recent records of the hybrid with Wood
Avens, intermediate in all characters and with orange-ish
flowers). It seems to be fast disappearing with us.

Wood Horsetail Equisetum sylvaticum

We also failed to find some of the choicer woodland grasses


and also the axiophyte Wood Speedwell Veronica montana,
which resembles Germander Speedwell Veronica chamaedrys,
except that the flowers are smaller and less bright blue; the
stems are hairy all the way round, not in two opposite lines and
the leaves more clearly stalked. Whether the site has lost some
of its distinctive species or whether we were too early (or
incompetent!) to spot them is not clear. Probably all three!

Ian Trueman

Water Avens Geum rivale

Nor did we find the two distinct colonies of Wood Horsetail


Equisetum sylvaticum, the axiophyte relative of the dreaded
garden weed Field Horsetail Equisetum sylvaticum. At this time
of the year we might have expected to find the unbranched
fruiting stems, but these are often produced only sparsely, but
later the vegetative stems produce dense whorls of green
branches which, unlike in Field Horsetail, themselves branch.
This species is also getting very scarce at its other well-known
Birmingham site – Moseley Bog.
13 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

SSSI STATUS FOR THE LEASOWES


Over the past few years, the Leasowes wardens, along with
mycologist Nick Williams and NE (Natural England) rep. Katie
Lloyd, have been pursuing Site of Special Scientific Interest
(SSSI) status for the Waxcap-rich grasslands present on site.

With the completion of this process and the Leasowes declared


as Dudley’s largest biological SSSI, it is perhaps time to reflect
on the journey so far and the species which make this historic
landscape so special.

The Leasowes sits to the east of Halesowen just within the


Worcestershire vice county (SO9784, 9783, 9884, 9883). Devil’s-bit scabious Succisa pratensis

Overlying the Halesowen beds of clays and


sandstones are spring-fed wooded valleys and
pools intersected by unimproved pasture,
meadow and golf course. This landscape was
‘enhanced’ by the poet and landscape gardener
William Shenstone in the mid-18th century for
which it was Grade 1 listed in 1989. His
ideology focused on embellishing natural
features and combining production with
aesthetics. Pools were enlarged, cascades were
created, follies were built and connected by a
circuit walk with benches, poetry and views to
the wider landscape but pasture and meadows
of his holding remained untouched. The
boundaries of these fields and several of the
neighbouring Webbs Green Farm are still in
existence today.
The Leasowes site, showing National Vegetation Classification stands
It is perhaps the age of these fields which
underlies their biological importance today
especially in such an urban setting.
14 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

Looking out west from the entrance on Manor Lane are two
rolling unimproved pastures known collectively as Stennel’s
fields, which is where much of the flora and fungal interest lies.

In 2014, following 27 years of fungi recording in these fields,


Nick Williams had found 20 waxcap species including the Red
Data Book (RDB) Date Waxcap Hygrocybe spadicea, former RDB
Ballerina Waxcap Porpolomopsis calyptriformis, plus other
positive indicator species such as Crimson Waxcap Hygrocybe
punicea and Yellow Foot Waxcap Hygrocybe flavipes.

Crimson Waxcap Hygrocybe punicea

Miraculously we were selected from nearly 300 local sites and


were suddenly on the national designation team’s radar. Prior
to us, only two other SSSIs have been designated with grassland
fungi as a notified feature, and so, to strengthen the case for
designation it was suggested we look at the guidelines for
lowland grassland.

Prior botanical surveys indicated we may have areas of MG5


Cynosurus cristatus – Centaurea nigra Crested Dog’s tail -
Common Knapweed grassland which is strongly associated with
Ballerina Waxcap Porpolomopsis calyptrifolia
grasslands rich in waxcaps. In 2018 NVC surveys were
undertaken across the site to identify these patches.
These fields were clearly the richest for grassland fungi within
the West Midlands, however, Severn Trent had designs to Descending from Manor Lane, we find irregular banks and
install an open ditch at the top of the field to hold road ‘run-off’ hummocks enamelled with Devil’s-bit Scabious Succisa
during flood events potentially devastating the fields’ ecology. pratensis in late summer, surrounded by Tormentil Potentilla
Despite surpassing SSSI guidelines for grassland fungi, 9 species erecta and occasional Heath-grass Danthonia decumbens. All
of waxcap had not been seen for over ten years and so an indicators of the rarer and slightly acidic MG5c subcommunity.
emergency SSSI could not be declared. Fortunately, the
To the north is ‘punicea bank’ named after the Crimson Waxcap
proposed open ditch was changed to an enclosed tank system
Hygrocybe punicea which has only been found in this location
at Severn Trent’s expense and mitigation work included DNA
soil analysis by Aberystwyth University to identify waxcap and can produce up to 80 large red fruit bodies in late autumn.
species by presence of hyphae in earth plugs.

The results were greater than we had dared to hope for. Many
of the more historic species were still present including the RDB
Date Waxcap, plus four new species were found. The results
focused our surveying by informing us where we may find each
species and their relative abundance within a 30m quadrat.
This investigation kick-started the push for SSSI status. By 2016
an additional 6 species had been recorded and we were asked
to put together an initial supporting document for the regional
Heath-grass Danthonia decumbens
Natural England team to select candidate SSSIs.
15 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

On this bank can also be found a good colony of Spring Sedge


Carex caryophyllea, set amongst Mouse-ear Hawkweed
Pilosella officinarum, Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata,
Field Woodrush Luzula campestris and the other indicators
already mentioned. These areas are intermixed with a mosaic
of Bramble Rubus fruticosus agg. and Hawthorn Crataegus
monogyna scrub and flushes reminiscent of rush pasture
dominated by Jointed Rush Juncus articulatus.

Citrine Waxcap Hygrocybe citrinovirens

The second Stennels field contains yet more MG5c and, though
strangely lacking Devil’s-bit Scabious, other positive indicators
are here in greater abundance including Self-heal Prunella
vulgaris, Quaking-grass Briza media and Pignut Conopodium
majus which hosts a colony of Chimney Sweeper Odezia atrata
moths in June.

The slopes in this field, having been the primary focus of


management and recording for waxcaps, have yielded 23
species, many of which are notable, including not just Ballerina
and Citrine Waxcaps but also Orange Waxcap Hygrocybe
aurantiosplendens, Fibrous Waxcap Hygrocybe intermedia, Sexy
Waxcap Cuphophyllus fornicata, and the RDB Date Waxcap
Hygrocybe spadicea.

In 2017, RDB Microglossum truncatum was found surprisingly


close to bramble near a patch of Lady’s Bedstraw Galium
Spring Sedge Carex caryophyllea verum. The M. truncatum record was dried and confirmed
genetically; it is thought to be a first for England but due to the
Adjacent to this field is the golf practice green, which, though a taxonomic fluidity of the earthtongues and lack of adequate
closely cropped sward, and seemingly rather poor botanically, keys it is being treated as an aggregate of the RDB Olive
comprising mostly of Fescues Festuca sp. with only occasional Earthtongue M. olivaceum as it currently lacks its own
White Clover Trifolium repens, Germander Speedwell Veronica protective legislation.
chamaedrys, Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris and
Another first for the site came this year in the shape of
Cuckooflower Cardamine pratensis, 13 species of waxcap have
Dermoloma cuneifolium, a small grey species with decurrent
been recorded here alone including the globally red-listed
white gills and a floury smell, our only record from this elusive
Citrine Waxcap Hygrocybe citrinovirens (found in 2017). It is
genus associated with better grassland habitats.
also our most reliable location for the Ballerina Waxcap.
Further west is the Devil’s Armchair, where the vegetation
In 2015 a staggering display of over 40 Ballerina fruitbodies
becomes noticeably more acidic on the steep banks, Wavy Hair-
could be seen in one visit, this is all the more special
grass Deschampsia flexuosa, Sheep’s-sorrel Rumex acetosella,
considering the UK is home to 80% of the global population.
Early hair-grass Aira praecox, Cat’s-ear Hypochaeris radicata
and Hawkweeds Hieracium sp. are all present here with
Mouse-ear-hawkweed and Heath-grass. This is also a hotspot
for Honey Waxcap Hygrocybe reidii, distinctive in its sweet
honey smelling cap and stem. The surrounding area has only
16 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

recently returned to a traditional hay cutting regime, yet the Expansions to existing SSSIs undergo the same process as new
flora and fungi are already responding. A small colony of designations.
Devil’s-bit Scabious has established with other key indicators
and Sneezewort Achillea ptarmica, was found for the first time It was clear that all the grasslands managed here by the Dudley
since 1987. MBC wardens should be included but questions remained over
where to draw our boundaries. How much of the golf course
Closer to the wardens’ base there’s a similar story, the and woodland should be included? Initial fruit-body surveys in
reversion to traditional management from amenity cutting and 2017 found few grassland fungi species and only one waxcap.
increasing the fungi survey area has yielded more species
considered rare on site. Oily Waxcap Hygrocybe quieta, a Fortunately Natural England funded a second round of DNA
robust yellow chrome waxcap with an oily smell and Spangle surveying focusing on under-recorded but apparently suitable
Waxcap Hygrocybe insipida a small bright waxcap with a areas of the golf course to assess its potential for waxcaps. Yet
distinctive red top to the stem have been found here. The again the results were much better than anticipated. In terms
grasslands are more neutral in nature with large colonies of of species richness and number of hyphae in the soil, the data
Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus supporting a was comparable with the better recorded fields. An additional
population of Six-belted Clearwing moths Bembecia fruit-body survey this year with the Natural England field team
ichneumoniformis, swathes of Field Scabious Knautia arvensis revealed three more waxcap species including Slimy Waxcap
with interspersed Oxeye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare and a Gliophorus irrigatus and Scarlet Waxcap Hygrocybe coccinea,
newly established colony of Common Spotted-orchid both good indicators on the mossy banks of the 2nd green.
Dactylorhiza fuchsii.

All mapped Leasowes CHEGD records to Feb 2019. Colours represent individual species (i.e. green circles =
Parrot Waxcap)
17 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

These were accompanied by the rare Straw Club Clavaria straminea,


another first for the site! Due to the potential for these areas with
more surveying and tweaks to the management of the ‘rough’, the
decision was made to include the entire golf course and the
surrounding woodland to act as a buffer for airborne ammonia
deposition. Consequently, the entire site, all 63 ha, has been
proposed for designation!

The final decision was made on Tuesday the 22nd of January 2019 and
declared on the 7th of February. Following this, we have now entered
Parrot Waxcap Gliophorus psittacinus
a four-month public consultation. The SSSI has been notified for the
assemblage of waxcap fungi; currently standing at 28 species and
ranked the 4th richest site in England, and for its lowland grassland
communities totalling 1.08 ha of MG5.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work of Nick
Williams over his 32 years of recording grassland fungi here at the
Leasowes, David Antrobus for his microscopic examination of some
very cryptic specimens, Dr Gareth Griffith at Aberystwyth University
and Katie Lloyd at Natural England.
Pink Waxcap Porpolomopsis calyptriformis
Perry Adams .

.
18 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

SUTTON PARK FLORA UPDATE


LICHENS
Lichens and lichenicolous fungi in Sutton Park
Lichen diversity in lowland England was devastated by the
effects of industrial pollution during and after the Industrial
Revolution. The Midlands are now enjoying a dramatic period
of re-colonisation in areas that were, until relatively recently,
considered to be ‘lichen deserts’. Powell & James (2010)
recorded lichens throughout Sutton Park in the period 2008-
2010 and made comparisons with a personal list compiled by
James in 1977 (from a limited area of woodland and
heathland). In 2017, several lichenologists including Shirley
Hancock, Mark Powell and Paula Shipway spent four days
recording lichens and lichenicolous fungi in Sutton Park.

Anyone who did not study lichens before the 1980s will be
fascinated by the following paragraph compiled from James’
1977 notes, which seem to describe a different world from the
modern situation, especially the abundance of Lecanora Melanohalea laciniatula, showing the highly dissected central
conizaeoides and the paucity of lichen species on branches: portion of its thallus. This species was recorded for the first time in
Sutton Park on a willow stem near Little Bracebridge Pool in May
Within areas of ancient woodland Lepraria incana was found to 2017.
be very frequent. Lecanora conizaeoides was occasional but
became dominantly abundant at their margins. Chaenotheca Hypogymnia physodes, H. tubulosa and Melanelixia subaurifera
ferruginea was found in dry bark crevices of old Quercus trees, were rare. Physcia tenella, Xanthoria parietina and X. polycarpa
possibly as the only relic species of a pre-industrial lichen were all rare and restricted to isolated nutrient-rich wound
colonisation. In the tree canopies, the branches were largely tracks. Cladonia coniocraea and C. macilenta were frequent at
bare or had a more or less continuous algal cover. Species the bases of trees and on rotting wood. There was a single
recorded from tree branches were Lecanora conizaeoides record of Hypocenomyce scalaris, and Dimerella pineti was
which was frequent, Parmelia saxatilis was common, P. sulcata, noted as an increasing species at the bases of shaded old trees.
19 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

Powell & James (2010) reported 156 lichen taxa from their Lichens have a justified reputation for being difficult to identify.
surveys during the period 2008 and 2010, though a few of More than most other groups of organisms, historic lists
these have since been reinterpreted or are now considered require a certain amount of sceptical scrutiny. The surveys
doubtful. This compares with the twenty-seven species noted conducted during the period 2008 to 2010 involved a
by James in 1977 and 148 recorded during 2017. These raw lichenologist whose eyesight and faculties were declining
numbers do not tell the whole story. The surveys during 2008 accompanied by a relative beginner. Fortunately, all the
to 2010 involved more days of recording and covered Sutton specimens collected during those surveys were retained and
Park more thoroughly than either the earlier or later surveys. this, along with increased knowledge of the taxa involved, has
allowed some reinterpretation of species as follows:
Some species which would have been unrecognised in 2010 are
now familiar to British lichen recorders (an example is Bacidia adastra: this record should be treated as tentative since bright
Verrucaria obfuscans which was added to the British list in green algal crusts were sometimes misinterpreted as sorediate Bacidia
2015). Some lichens have been lost when structures have been species.

removed, for example the large limestone boulders that were Bacidia inundata: unfortunately, it will not be possible to re-examine
formerly present at the east end of Powell’s Pool. this occurrence which was on large shaded boulders at the east end of
Powell’s Pool (now removed). It was sterile and would have identified
Our impression is one of increasing diversity, especially of because of the fimbriate margin, and I feel it is much more likely to
corticolous lichens (growing on bark). Notable additions to the have been B. fuscoviridis.
corticolous communities since 2010 are Catillaria nigroclavata,
Halecania viridescens, Hyperphyscia adglutinata, Melanohalea Bacidia saxenii: this specimen from a chemically-treated fence post
laciniatula, Micarea coppinsii, Normandina pulchella, is redetermined as B. chloroticula.
Psoroglaena stigonemoides, Punctelia borreri and P. reddenda. Caloplaca cerinelloides: a specimen growing on a willow trunk, with
These lichens have all shown a dramatic increase across the 8-spored asci, is much more likely to be C. holocarpa which
Midland Counties of England and all are likely to be recent sometimes occurs on nutrient-rich bark.
colonists at Sutton Park.
Chrysothrix flavovirens: It is just possible that this species was
correctly identified on the oldest oak trees but most records are
likely to be due to misidentification of algal crusts.

Fellhanera bouteillei: the specimen (on holly leaves near


Bracebridge Pool) has been redetermined as Scoliciosporum
curvatum.

Lecanora jamesii: Records of L. jamesii at Sutton Park should be


treated as doubtful; at least one record was a misinterpretation of
Buellia griseovirens.

Leptogium schraderi: the thalli on the wall at the edge of Keeper’s


Pool have been re-determined as L. turgidum.

Rhizocarpon petraeum: the thalli on the wall at the edge of Keeper’s


Pool were recorded as R. petraeum on sight. A specimen collected in
2017 shows that it is a species of Porpidia, probably P. crustulata.

Scoliciosporum sarothamni: this was a field record and probably


related to a ‘sorediate’ form of S. chlorococcum.

Stereocaulon nanodes: this was recorded in the field, occurring as


very stunted material on one of the railway bridges. Such stunted
Psoroglaena stigonemoides, a very inconspicuous lichen which is
material is difficult to identify with certainty.
usually sterile and often overlooked as an algal crust. This
specimen, on a shaded willow trunk near Little Bracebridge Pool, is Verrucaria baldensis: unfortunately, it will not be possible to resolve
fertile (pale, flask-shaped fruiting bodies) and was newly recorded this somewhat doubtful record which was from large limestone
for Sutton Park in May 2017. boulders at the east end of Powell’s Pool (now removed). At that
time V. calciseda was often incorrectly identified as V. baldensis.
20 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

In contrast to the corticolous lichen communities, the


heathland lichens appear to have declined; the extensive areas
of mature heather tantalise from a distance but generally
disappoint the lichenologist on closer inspection.

The structure of the heathland appears to have changed since


the 1970s, the remaining heather is mainly even-aged and over-
mature. In the past, sporadic burning would have created
patches where the soil was periodically exposed. Even in areas
which have relatively recently been burnt, conditions now
appear to be generally unsuitable for lichens. The availability of
exposed soil appears to be restricted by the increasing
abundance of vascular vegetation which may have been
caused, in part, by the fertilising effects of anthropogenic
nitrogen pollution.

The terricolous lichens of heathland are untypical of lichens in


general in that they were not significantly damaged by former
higher levels of atmospheric sulphur dioxide, indeed many of
the species of Cladonia involved may have benefited from the
more acid conditions resulting from industrial pollution. It is The minute black fruiting bodies of Arthonia parietinaria infecting
interesting to note that the most spectacular heathland-type the thallus of Xanthoria parietina. This lichenicolous fungus was
described as new to science as recently as 2016.
communities are now to be observed with the aid of a ladder,
on the rotting conifer wood shingle roofs of a kiosk near the
Four Oaks entrance to the Park. Sutton Park already provides a fascinating example of the
remarkable reinvasion by lichens of the English Midlands. The
Lichenicolous fungi are those which grow in or on lichens and rapid changes in the lichen communities are anticipated to
represent a wealth of under-recorded and undescribed continue. What will happen if the concentration of atmospheric
diversity. A dozen species were recorded during 2017 but nitrogen compounds decreases? How many lichens have the
further surveys would undoubtedly add significant numbers. potential to colonise Sutton Park, but which have not managed
to get here yet? Continued survey work at Sutton Park is highly
Many lichenicolous fungi are seasonal, being more active recommended.
during the winter months; so far, they have only been studied
at Sutton Park during late spring and summer. Mark Powell
The lichenicolous fungi so far recorded for Sutton Park are
Arthonia parietinaria, Athelia arachnoidea, Didymocyrtis
slaptoniensis, Erythricium aurantiacum, Hainesia xanthoriae,
Heterocephalacria physciacearum, Lichenoconium xanthoriae,
Paranectria oropensis, Pyrenochaeta xanthoriae, Tubefia
heterodermiae, Unguiculariopsis thallophila and Xanthoriicola
physciae.

Aquatic lichens grow on periodically immersed rocks beside


rivers and lakes. Most streams and rivers in lowland areas are
too silty to provide suitable habitat for aquatic lichens so it was
a pleasant surprise to find Verrucaria funckii on a large pebble
in the stream to the north-west of Rowton’s Well. A more
thorough survey of the streams in Sutton Park might reveal
further examples, most of which would be new records for
Warwickshire.
21 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

Table of all accepted lichen records for Sutton Park (1977 to 2017)

Column A - gives the standard British Lichen Society number for each taxon.
Column B - gives the name of each taxon.
Column C - indicates presence in Sutton Park in 1977.
Column D - indicates presence in Sutton Park in the period 2008-2010.
Column E - indicates presence in Sutton Park in 2017.

A B C D E A B C D E
212 Amandinea punctata x x 376 Cladonia humilis x
64 Arthonia lapidicola x 396 Cladonia macilenta x x x
68 Arthonia punctiformis x x 403 Cladonia ochrochlora
69 Arthonia radiata x x 404 Cladonia parasitica x
1540 Arthopyrenia analepta x 408 Cladonia polydactyla var. polydactyla x x
1542 Arthopyrenia punctiformis x x 409 Cladonia portentosa x x
107 Aspicilia contorta subsp. contorta x x 410 Cladonia pyxidata x
Aspicilia contorta subsp. 359 Cladonia ramulosa x
113 x x
hoffmanniana 415 Cladonia scabriuscula x
140 Bacidia chloroticula x 422 Cladonia subulata x x
2502 Bacidia sulphurella x x 751 Clauzadea monticola x
176 Baeomyces rufus x x 429 Cliostomum griffithii x
179 Belonia nidarosiensis x 459 Collema tenax var. tenax x
165 Bilimbia sabuletorum x 911 Cyrtidula hippocastani x
200 Buellia aethalea x x 912 Cyrtidula quercus ## x x
1546 Buellia badia x 489 Dimerella pineti x x x
207 Buellia griseovirens x x 511 Evernia prunastri x x
2503 Caloplaca albolutescens x 2285 Fellhanera viridisorediata x
2442 Caloplaca arcis x x 987 Flavoparmelia caperata x x
2371 Caloplaca asserigena x 1018 Flavoparmelia soredians x x
242 Caloplaca cerinella x x 521 Fuscidea lightfootii x x
263 Caloplaca chlorina x 533 Graphis scripta x
247 Caloplaca citrina s.lat. x x 1704 Halecania viridescens x
249 Caloplaca crenulatella x x 1125 Hyperphyscia adglutinata x
259 Caloplaca flavescens x 578 Hypocenomyce scalaris x x
2315 Caloplaca flavocitrina x x 582 Hypogymnia physodes x x x
2527 Caloplaca holocarpa s. str. x 583 Hypogymnia tubulosa x x x
2607 Caloplaca limonia x 1013 Hypotrachyna revoluta x
2461 Caloplaca oasis x x 2468 Hypotrachyna afrorevoluta x
271 Caloplaca obscurella x 2577 Hypotrachyna revoluta s. str. x
281 Caloplaca teicholyta x 547 Jamesiella anastomosans x x
284 Caloplaca variabilis x 613 Lecania cyrtella x x
289 Candelaria concolor x x 616 Lecania erysibe x
291 Candelariella aurella f. aurella x x 1707 Lecania inundata x
297 Candelariella reflexa x x 159 Lecania naegelii x x
298 Candelariella vitellina f. vitellina x x 627 Lecanora albescens x x
306 Catillaria chalybeia var. chalybeia x x 2121 Lecanora barkmaniana x
316 Catillaria nigroclavata x Lecanora campestris subsp.
635 x x
344 Chaenotheca ferruginea x x x campestris
1925 Chrysothrix flavovirens 636 Lecanora carpinea x x
371 Cladonia chlorophaea s.lat. x x x 639 Lecanora chlarotera x x
375 Cladonia coniocraea x x x 1996 Lecanora compallens x x
374 Cladonia coccifera s. lat. x 641 Lecanora confusa x x
1749 Cladonia diversa x x 643 Lecanora conizaeoides f. conizaeoides x x x
384 Cladonia fimbriata x x x 646 Lecanora dispersa x x
386 Cladonia floerkeana x x x 649 Lecanora expallens x x
389 Cladonia furcata x x x 650 Lecanora farinaria x
391 Cladonia glauca x x 621 Lecanora hagenii x x
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A B C D E A B C D E
661 Lecanora muralis x x 1690 Porpidia soredizodes x x
667 Lecanora polytropa x x 572 Porpidia tuberculosa x x
672 Lecanora pulicaris x x 1189 Protoblastenia rupestris x x
675 Lecanora saligna 1192 Pseudevernia furfuracea s.lat. x
610 Lecanora semipallida x x 1199 Psilolechia clavulifera x
680 Lecanora stenotropa x 1200 Psilolechia lucida x
688 Lecanora symmicta x x 1630 Psoroglaena stigonemoides x
690 Lecanora varia x 985 Punctelia borreri x
724 Lecidea fuscoatra x 1989 Punctelia jeckeri x x
2474 Lecidea grisella x x 1011 Punctelia reddenda x
797 Lecidella elaeochroma f. elaeochroma x x 2070 Punctelia subrudecta s.str. x x
802 Lecidella scabra x x 1234 Ramalina farinacea x x
803 Lecidella stigmatea x x 1235 Ramalina fastigiata x x
1974 Lepraria incana s. str. x x x 1266 Rhizocarpon reductum x x
1629 Lepraria lobificans x x 2282 Rinodina oleae x x
1604 Lepraria vouauxii x x 1298 Rinodina sophodes x x
849 Leptogium turgidum x 1306 Sarcogyne regularis x x
997 Melanelixia glabratula x x 1307 Sarcopyrenia gibba var. geisleri x
1020 Melanelixia subaurifera x x x 1320 Scoliciosporum chlorococcum x
993 Melanohalea elegantula x x 1358 Scoliciosporum curvatum x
995 Melanohalea exasperata x x 1431 Trapelia coarctata x
996 Melanohalea exasperatula x x 1434 Trapelia obtegens x
1001 Melanohalea laciniatula x 1595 Trapelia placodioides x x
1720 Micarea coppinsii x 692 Trapeliopsis flexuosa x x x
877 Micarea denigrata x x 727 Trapeliopsis granulosa x x
719 Micarea erratica x x 1469 Usnea cornuta x
880 Micarea lignaria var. lignaria x x 1731 Usnea flavocardia x
2359 Micarea micrococca x x 1471 Usnea subfloridana x x
886 Micarea peliocarpa x 1490 Verrucaria funckii x
21 Myriospora rufescens x 1495 Verrucaria hochstetteri x
920 Normandina pulchella x Verrucaria macrostoma f.
1502 x
1015 Parmelia saxatilis x x x macrostoma
1022 Parmelia sulcata x x x 1507 Verrucaria muralis x x
1008 Parmotrema perlatum x x 1510 Verrucaria nigrescens f. nigrescens x x
1043 Peltigera hymenina x x 2514 Verrucaria nigrescens f. tectorum x
1106 Phaeophyscia nigricans x 2649 Verrucaria obfuscans x
1107 Phaeophyscia orbicularis x x 1511 Verrucaria ochrostoma x
1110 Phlyctis argena x x 1518 Verrucaria viridula x x
2464 Phylloblastia inexpectata x x 1526 Xanthoria calcicola x
1112 Physcia adscendens x x 1527 Xanthoria candelaria s. lat. x
1113 Physcia aipolia x x 1528 Xanthoria elegans x
1114 Physcia caesia x x 1530 Xanthoria parietina x x x
1116 Physcia dubia x 1531 Xanthoria polycarpa x x x
1119 Physcia stellaris x x 950 Xanthoria ucrainica x x
1120 Physcia tenella subsp. tenella x x x
1126 Physconia enteroxantha x x
1127 Physconia grisea x Reference
1373 Piccolia ochrophora x
1735 Placynthiella dasaea x James, P.W. & Powell, M. (2010). The lichens of Sutton Park. Bull. Brit.
732 Placynthiella icmalea x x Lichen Soc. 107: 2-17.
788 Placynthiella uliginosa x
1145 Platismatia glauca x
1168 Porina aenea x x
1171 Porina chlorotica f. chlorotica x
23 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

SP1098: Gum Slade and Pool Hollies


BRYOPHYTES Much of this square is woodland. Like many Sutton Park woodlands,
it is mixed woodland with a sparse ground flora and a shrub layer
Bryophytes and the Sutton Park Flora: update dominated by holly. Most of the bryophyte flora in this habitat is
on progress. limited to trees and fallen timber. However, the square contains a
short frontage with Bracebridge Pool and a substantial area of acidic,
As part of the preparation of the Flora of Sutton Park, heathy grassland.
Roger and Pam Parkes and I are working on the
Details of survey Provisional list of notable species with
bryophytes chapter. This article is a report of our
Callaghan’s assessment of abundance in Sutton
activities this year. Park. Those marked (-) were not recorded by
Callaghan.
Our approach is to build on survey work carried out by Visited on: Barbula convoluta var. convoluta (Rare),
Des Callaghan for Natural England over 5 days in 2013 20 March 2018 Cirriphyllum piliferum (-)
20 May 2018 Dicranella rufescens (-)
and 2014. This work provided 660 records of 147
23 October 2018 Dicranella varia (Rare)
species. His records are allocated to individual 1km grid Hypnum resupinatum (-)
squares except for rare species where precise locations Lunularia cruciata (Rare)
are given. Plagiothecium curvifolium (Rare)
Polytrichum juniperinum (Rare)
Ulota crispa (Rare)
Des Callaghan provided detailed plans of the routes he
took around Sutton Park. We have targeted our own 39 species recorded (Some species require further confirmation.)
field surveys in the areas of the park which he did not 39 species added to
visit. The aim is to compile comparable species lists for square.

all the fifteen 1km grid squares wholly or partially within


the park.

The survey work was targeted in 1km grid squares which


had either not been visited or where the species totals
seem lower than expected. Grid square SP1098 (Gum
Slade & Pool Hollies) was the priority as it was an
almost complete square which had not been surveyed.
Grid squares SP1197 (Hartopp Gate) and SP0895
(Westwood Coppice) had not been visited by Callaghan
but contained only fragments of the park. SP1196 (Town
Gate) and SP0898 (Streetly Wood) had lower than
expected numbers of species. The final grid square we Rather uniform woodland with little ground flora where most bryophytes
visited was SP0998 (Streetly Clumps and Little were found growing on trees.
Bracebridge) at the request of Ian Trueman who
thought Little Bracebridge had received insufficient
survey attention.

The woodland extends right to the water’s edge at Bracebridge Pool


restricting the diversity of the bryophyte communities.
Rather inconveniently Bracebridge Pool falls within four 1km grid
squares. Only a very small part of the pool was actually in our square.
24 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

SP0998: Streetly Clumps and Little Bracebridge SP1197: Hartopp Gate

Our survey concentrated on the environs of Little Bracebridge Much of this square is woodland. Like many Sutton Park
Pool. The shoreline of the pool was not particularly diverse but woodlands, this area is mixed woodland with a sparse ground
the wet birch woodland to the north supported a much more flora and a shrub layer dominated by holly. Most of the
diverse bryophyte flora bryophyte flora in this habitat is limited to trees and fallen
timber. However, the square also contains an area of acidic,
Details of survey Provisional list of notable species heathy grassland and is bisected by a railway which wasn’t
Visited on: Climacium dendroides (Rare)
20 March 2018 Pellia neesiana (Rare) surveyed. Less than 10% of this square is within Sutton Park.
20 May 2018 Straminergon stramineum (Rare)
25 September 2018 Ulota intermedia (-) Details of survey Provisional list of notable species
23 October 2018 Visited on: Didymodon vinealis (-)
15 November 2018 Ulota crispula (-)
34 species recorded (Some species require further
7 species added to confirmation.) (More species are likely to be added. Some
square. 9 species recorded species require further confirmation.)
9 species added to
square.

This square was already extensively surveyed by Callaghan but we


concentrated on the area around Little Bracebridge Pool and the
wet woodland to the north. It provided habitat for the rare Another fragmentary square almost equally divided between
Climacium dendroides, Pellia neesiana and Straminergon typically uniform woodland, with little ground flora and a
stramineum. It is also the first location where Ulota intermedia dominant holly shrub layer, and acidic grassland. The site of the
was recorded. A favourite pasture for the park’s Exmoor ponies. second record of Ulota crispula.

SP0898: Streetly Wood SP1196: Town Gate

Much of this square is woodland. Like many Sutton Park A large amount of this square is mown grassland but the square
woodlands, this area is mixed woodland with a sparse ground also contains a mosaic of other habitats including: woodland
flora and a shrub layer dominated by holly. Most of the scrub acidic grassland, rush pasture and water courses.
bryophyte flora in this habitat is limited to trees and fallen
Details of survey Provisional list of notable species
timber. However, the square also contains areas of acidic and
Visited on: Polytrichum juniperinum (Rare)
heathy grassland. It is bisected by a railway which was not 15 November 2018 Syntrichia montana (Rare)
surveyed. To date, only the northern part of the square has Ulota crispula (-)
been surveyed.
34 species recorded (Some species require further
7 species added to confirmation.)
Details of survey Provisional list of notable species
square.
Visited on: Orthotrichum cupulatum (Rare)
13 December 2018 Ulota intermedia (-)

18 species recorded (More species are likely to be added. Some


11 species added to species require further confirmation.)
square.
25 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

SUMMARY OF SURVEY WORK 2018

A mosaic of habitats including large areas of mown grass. The


woodland to the right contained the first record of Ulota crispula.

SP0895: Westwood Coppice

Much of this square is woodland. Like many Sutton Park


woodlands, this area is mixed woodland with a sparse ground
flora and a shrub layer dominated by holly. Most of the
bryophyte flora in this habitat is limited to trees and fallen
timber. However, the square also contains a small area of Key
acidic, heathy grassland. Less than 20% of this square is within 77 current species totals for each 1km grid square.
Sutton Park. 14/18/11* The three blue numbers show the location of our survey
work. The three numbers summarise our results. i.e.
Details of survey Provisional list of notable species 14 Callaghan’s species totals
Visited on: Didymodon vinealis (-) 18 Our species totals
13 December 2018 11 New species we added
(More species are likely to be added. Some * Further survey work pending
17 species recorded species require further confirmation.)
(The transect routes shown in red and blue are Callaghan’s.)
17 species added to
square.
The survey work has gone relatively smoothly and all three of
us have improved our bryophyte knowledge. The hot summer
made bryophyte surveys impractical from May to September as
bryophytes shrivelled in the sun. The December survey trip was
very cold and the shorter winter days restrict survey duration
Photo: Simon Phipps
Photo: Simon Phipps
as bryophytes are often small and require good light to see
important identification features. We have also had some
adventures. On 23 October Roger and I were recording in the
boggy woodland to the north of Little Bracebridge Pool when
he got firmly stuck in an innocuous-looking bog. After hauling
him out and excavating his footwear I discovered I’d lost my
A fragmentary square mostly outside the park. It contains a wedding ring. After an unsuccessful search we carried on
substantial part of Westwood Coppice and a small area of heathy surveying and I returned the next day with a large sieve and a
grassland. The bryophyte list for this square therefore contains spade and filtered the mud where I thought I’d lost the ring.
both woodland and acidic grassland species. Unsuccessful again, I managed to get hold of a local metal
detector’s group who got one of their members to help. He
found the ring within 20 minutes and on the way back to the
cars we also found several ring pulls, a brass walking stick
ferrule and a 2p piece dated 1989.

Much of the bryophytes identification work takes place after


the field visits using microscopes. We tend to take a
considerable amount of material home to confirm
identifications made on site. Some examples are given.
26 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

Much of the bryophytes identification work takes place after leaves. If the average length of the cells is 35-53μ it is H. andoi,
the field visits using microscopes. We tend to take a if it is 59-74μ it is H. cupressiforme. Although laborious, this
considerable amount of material home to confirm method seems to work. H. cupressiforme is probably the most
identifications made on site. Some examples are given. abundant bryophyte in Sutton Park but H. andoi has been more
elusive. James Bagnall recorded it in the late 19 th century and it
Polytrichum commune and Polytrichastrum formosum are was not found again until Des Callaghan found it in five squares
both widespread Sutton Park mosses. P. commune is a moss of in 2013/14. Subsequently we found it in four further squares.
usually wet acidic habitats while P. formosum is a moss of While not as abundant as H. cupressiforme, it is certainly
neutral to acidic woodland. Without capsules in borderline frequent within the park.
habitats, they can be difficult to separate. The accepted
method is to cut leaf sections which is time-consuming and
often results in numerous random leaf fragments which are of
little help. The section below arrows the terminal cells of the
leaf lamellae which are rounded on P. formosum (shown here)
but have two lobes on P. commune.

Hypnum andoi showing the blunt-tipped capsules

Ulota crispa is a relatively common epiphyte growing on the


twigs and branches of trees. Recently it has been split into
three separate species. Capsules are required to separate the
three species and the closely related U. bruchii. The capsules
have to be dissected for microscopic examination. The split had
not been made in time for Callaghan’s survey but we have
found all the three species, i.e. Ulota crispa, U. crispula and U.
Hypnum andoi almost completely covering the fallen tree
intermedia, probably all first records for Birmingham and the in the foreground.
Black Country.
While the field work may almost be complete, the records have
Hypnum andoi is a relatively common moss of acidic bark and
to be entered onto a database, submitted to EcoRecord and
grows on the trunks and larger branches of trees. It tends to
analysed to see what conclusions can be reached about the
have a more western distribution in the UK than the very
ecology of the bryophytes of Sutton Park.
similar H. cupressiforme which grows in similar situations. In
Sutton Park both occur. They are straightforward to identify There may be sufficient data to comment on the distribution of
with ripe capsules but these are largely absent for much of the species within the park, although using 1km grid squares may
year. On H. andoi the capsule lid is shortly pointed while on H. not show subtle differences in species distribution. More
cupressiforme the lid has a longer beak. Under the microscope profitable may be to compare Callaghan’s survey (augmented
both species look quite similar. The suggested way of with ours and other people’s recent additions) to earlier
separating them is to measure the mid-leaf cells of branch. surveys.
27 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

Each field visit to Sutton Park is followed by several days at home


with microscopes and reference books.

Bryophytes have been recorded in some detail from the 1870s,


although early bryologists, most notably James Bagnall, were
not always specific on species locations. The first survey which
attributed 1km grid squares to all records was Tom Laflin’s
1971 Flora of Sutton Park. Laflin and his co-workers recorded
111 species and 322 records (compared with Callaghan’s 147
species and 660 records).

These two surveys are broadly comparable, although Laflin’s


survey does not record any species from the three squares
along the western edge of the park. However, for the areas
surveyed the similarities and differences between the two
surveys almost 45 years apart may provide useful information
on temporal change. Further temporal comparisons with
Bagnall’s records and John Field’s 1991 checklist may provide
further insights.

My current task is to extract records from the publications in


which these surveys originally appeared. Fortunately, Laflin
examined material from Bagnall’s herbarium and confirmed the
validity of the records or corrected errors. This is one task we
will not need to do.

There is a lot still to do but we have more data than any of our
predecessors, it is quite a responsibility to make good use of it.

Simon Phipps
28 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

FUNGI
18th September 2018

The exceptionally hot and dry weather meant that very few
fungal fruiting bodies were visible for most of the summer. By
late September there had been enough rain for the first flush
of larger fungi to appear and there was a good variety of
species to be found.

We began our foray at the Banner’s Gate car part and Black Bulgar Bulgaria inquinans.
wandered north through Westwood coppice. The first species
noticed were mycorrhizal species associated with trees. With The remains of a fallen oak hosted some of the characteristic
birch we noticed the Tawny Grisette Amanita fulva as a mature species for this substrate including the dark gelatinous discs of
fruiting body and some still surrounded by their egg-like Black Bulgar Bulgaria inquinans and the small yellow brackets
protective membrane. Blushers Amanita rubescens were of Hairy Curtain Crust Stereum hirsutum. There were also a few
another frequently encountered species. A notable absence other wood rotters and generalist saprotrophs scattered
was the Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria. This is normally common through the coppice. These included the Sulphur Tuft
in the park from late summer, but its appearance was Hypholoma fasciculare, Yellow Stagshorn Calocera viscosa and
significantly delayed in 2018. Blushing Brackets Daedaleopsis confragosa. In conifer needle
litter we spotted a cluster of the bright orange fruiting bodies
of False Chanterelles Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca.

Russulas were not abundant but we did find Ochre Brittlegills


Russula ochroleuca.

There were a few boletes including some fresh Bay Boletes


Imleria badia that surprisingly had not been foraged and we
found a Sepia Bolete Xerocomellus porosporus growing with
oaks. We also found a Scaly Earthball Scleroderma verrucosum.
Slippery Jack Suillus luteus
This looks very different from a typical bolete but is part of the
same Order of fungi. The Bolete Eater Mould Hypomyces
The walk back through the heath and grassy area next to
chrysospermus had infected several boletes. This starts off as
Westwood Coppice surprisingly revealed no grassland fungi.
white spots that quickly covers the host and liquifies it, leaving
When a small cluster of fruiting bodies was spotted this turned
a patch of bright yellow goo behind.
out to be sulphur tufts growing from a buried branch. A small
clump of pines was more productive and there were several
Slippery Jacks Suillus luteus growing underneath them.
29 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

Other species from Sutton Park in 2018

The dry weather meant that it was possible to explore the wet
woodland and boggy area north of Little Bracebridge Pool. The
most exciting find was Laccaria purpureobadia on the 30th of
September. This reddish-purple deceiver is associated with
sphagnum moss in wet birch and alder woodland.

Tawny Grisette Amanita fulva

Laccaria purpureobadia

As far as I can tell this is the first record of the species for
Warwickshire and the West Midlands. This shows that even a
well recorded area can still host new species of large and
distinctive fungi.

Lukas Large

Spectacular Rustgill Gymnopilus junonius


30 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

VASCULAR PLANTS
VISIT TO BOLDMERE GOLF COURSE
24th August 2018

Boldmere Golf Course is not open to the public, but with the spreads readily by seed and is becoming quite common.
kind invitation of the course manager, ICT & Danny Squire, Another small shrub, probably planted, resembled Portugal
Senior Ranger at Sutton Park, surveyed the golf course on 24 th Laurel Prunus lusitanica but the petioles lacked the usual red
August 2018. colour. Fruiting Bluebells were almost certainly the hybrid
Hyacinthoides x massartiana.
The area around the car park (SP1095SE) included a fringe of
planted trees along Monmouth Drive, some unused mown
grassland and the fence with the Sailing Club. The flora was a
mixture of common species which would not be out of place
anywhere in Sutton Coldfield or Birmingham.

The main southern margin of the golf course covers SP1095SW,


SP0995SE, SP0995SE, SP0995NW, and SP0995SW. We followed
the southern margin of the golf course westwards, which has a
flora similar to that of the car park area.

Norway Maple Acer platanoides was reseeding much more


plentifully than Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus, there was
much planted Hornbeam, but no obvious seedlings or saplings,
and one plant of Cherry Plum Prunus cerasifera – not in
Readett’s list but also seen appearing in the Park along the road
boundary to Westwood Coppice. This is usually easily Marsh Valerian Valeriana dioica
distinguished from Blackthorn and Damson by its first year
twigs which are green and shiny, not brown, dull and often
hairy. It is the earliest to flower of the three and the flowers
are as large or larger than those of Damson. Often planted, it
31 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

narrower, more pointed form of this species which distinguish


it from Canadian Pondweed Elodea canadensis, which is now
getting quite scarce in B&BC.

Cherry Plum Prunus cerasifera in flower in February

The fairway vegetation was hard to evaluate after the long


summer drought, but it was Common Bent Agrostis capillaris
and Red Fescue Festuca rubra mesotrophic grassland almost
devoid of heathland species. We did note a little Heath
Bedstraw Galium saxatile and what appeared to be Fine-leaved
Sheep’s-fescue Festuca filiformis although at least some looked
a little coarse and might have been Sheep’s-fescue Festuca
ovina – the course should be checked for these species in June;
it would be interesting to find Festuca ovina, which seems to be
absent from the Park.

Running diagonally across the fairway (probably) in both Pendulous Sedge Carex pendula
SP1095SW and SP0995SE are a large area of narrow (less than 2
m wide) ridges which might be a relic of past cultivation (the
The main outlets from Longmoor Pool appear in SP0995NE.
archaeologist Mike Hodder confirms). The plants of the rough
The waters form braided streams which support more Elodea
areas between the fairways also show little in the way of low
nuttallii and stands of Watercress Nasturtium spp. One can
pH. The bunkers may be worth looking at in late spring but
distinguish the narrow-fruited Watercress N. microphyllum
show little at the moment except Yarrow Achillea millefolium.
from Watercress N. officinale because the former has fruits
Horseradish Armoracea rusticana in SP0995NW seems to be a
with seeds in a single row in each of the two compartments and
new record for the park. The final section in SP0995SW had a
seed coats with much smaller, uncountable numbers of cells.
more ruderal flora with several patches of Japanese Knotweed
As is often the case, our specimen had no mature fruits and
Fallopia japonica.
might well have been the cultivated and largely sterile Hybrid
Water-cress N. x sterile which we suspect is quite common.
From the westernmost point on the golf course, we then
followed the northern margin eastwards. In SP0995NW, the
Fool’s Water-cress Apium nodiflorum, with its small, umbellate
northern side of the fairways was decidedly more heathy than
inflorescences and deeply-lobed pinnae with a pungent scent
the southern side and we recorded Wavy Hair-grass
was also present and also a non-fruiting Starwort Callitriche sp.
Deschampsia flexuosa and Heath Grass Danthonia decumbens.
Quite extensive marshes appear, with Marsh Thistle Cirsium
An intriguing double ditch soon appeared along the north
palustre and Square-stalked St. John’s–wort Hypericum
margin, with much running water despite the long summer
tetrapterum, but mostly heavily shaded with Grey Willow Salix
drought. Heavily shaded, the flora was not rich, but Lady-fern
cinerea. We noted one large plant of Mock-orange
Athyrium filix-femina and Broad Buckler-fern Dryopteris
Philadelphus cf. coronarius, a new record for the Park. The
dilatata appear on the banks, and patches of Soft-rush Juncus
streams are quite rich in fish, including two quite large carp and
effusus, Wild Angelica Angelica sylvestris, Pendulous Sedge
a shoal identified by Danny as Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis.
Carex pendula and even Yellow Iris Iris pseudacorus in the
bottoms.
The fairways clearly varied in pH here – there were some much
The first outlets from Longmoor Pool are in this square and less acid patches with Red Clover Trifolium pratense. The
reveal a slight aquatic flora, mostly green algae but also course margin turns south and backs on to an area of swampy
Nuttall’s Waterweed Elodea nuttallii. Its leaves had the woodland, mostly in the Park proper and fenced off from the
32 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

golf course, but there are some very boggy expanses of Alder One last plant we should have seen is Field Rose Rosa arvensis,
Alnus glutinosa, Grey Willow Salix cinerea Downy Birch Betula usually easily distinguished from Dog Rose Rosa canina by its
pubescens with a field layer dominated by Purple Moor-grass different habit and its flower in which the styles are united into
Molinea caerulea and Sphagnum spp. within the golf course. a tube. Surely this one must still be about!

We followed the southern margin of this wood through


SP0995SE into SP1095SW. In SP0995SE there are some ditches
and one or two wet areas reminiscent of the rare base-rich
marshes north of Longmoor Pool, with very small areas of such
uncommon species as Marsh Cinquefoil Comarum palustre and
Marsh Valerian Valeriana dioica but also some plantings,
including one patch of Giant Rhubarb Gunnera tinctoria.

Mat-grass Nardus stricta

The holes in SP1095NW are dry, with the winter annual Early
Hair-grass Aira praecox in the sward and a flora badly affected
by the drought but with Mat-grass Nardus stricta clearly
indicating base-poor conditions.

At its southern edge, this area borders on to the main area of


wet woodland at the western end of Powell’s Pool, fairly clearly
on a delta of sediment coming east from Longmoor Pool, and
again with Alder Alnus glutinosa, Grey Willow Salix cinerea
Downy Birch Betula pubescens with a field layer dominated by
Purple Moor-grass Molinea caerulea and Sphagnum spp., and Marsh Cinquefoil Comarum palustre
with Alder Buckthorn Frangula alnus present but also with
patches of Reed Sweet-grass Glyceria maxima suggesting at
least locally more eutrophic conditions. Most of this wood is in In SP1095SW these ditches continue, with at least one small
SP1095NW and a smaller area in SP0995 SE and was not stand of Velvet Bent Agrostis canina. Further east the wet areas
studied in detail and needs to be surveyed in spring. are more eutrophic, with one large patch of Butterbur Petasites
hybridus, which is uncommon in the Park. However the
dominant feature in this quarter square is the southern margin
of Powell’s Pool. It is quite heavily shaded by tall trees including
Crack Willow Salix fragilis and Hybrid Black-poplar Populus x
canadensis as well as Alder Alnus glutinosa and Grey Willow
Salix cinerea. Also at least one patch of Purple Willow Salix
purpurea and some obvious introductions such as Butterfly-
bush Buddleja davidii and Swedish Whitebeam Sorbus
intermedia.

Nevertheless, the marginal vegetation is quite rich, and


includes small areas of some of the species characterising the
classical reedswamps of the Park such as Tussock-sedge Carex
paniculata, Bottle Sedge Carex rostrata and Lesser Bulrush
Typha angustifolia. The pool margin in SP1095SE was mostly
behind the Sailing Club fence and appeared to be planked over.
Alder Buckthorn Frangula alnus
Ian Trueman
33 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

GRASSES ID COURSE
13th June 2018

13 participants turned up at Banners Gate car park at Sutton Park, for this course led by Ian and Mike. We were able to give
participants a draft of Ian’s The Grasses – some notes on identification, aggregated from four articles in the Shropshire Botanical
Society Newsletter by Ian, which the SBS is working on publishing in the near future. The ‘lucky’ participants were also provided
with a list of the Birmingham and the Black Country Grasses which is appended to this article and also some sketches, which are
given below.

1. The grass leaf


The grass leaf (fig. 1) consists of a flat or bristle-like
blade attached to a tubular petiole called the sheath. At
the junction between the two there is typically a
membranous collar called the ligule, and either side of
this there may be two pointed outgrowths called
auricles. When the grass is in the vegetative phase of
growth the stem remains very short, with the growing
point at ground level, but several leaves arise from
successive nodes on this condensed stem with the
younger leaves developing within the sheaths of the
Fig 1. The Grass leaf
older ones.
Thus the vegetative grass ‘stem’ is actually made up entirely of these successive leaf sheaths, one inside the next. In some
species there IS an elongated vegetative stem in addition. If it lies along the ground surface and bears normal green leaves it is a
stolon, if it grows beneath the soil and bears non-green reduced scale leaves it is a rhizome.

When grasses flower, the stem elongates, bearing the inflorescence up at the stem tip.

2. The grass flower and inflorescence


Grasses are wind-pollinated, and as a result the flower,
which in most flowering plants is designed to attract
pollinating insects or other pollinating animals, is very
simple and is usually called a floret (see fig. 2). It is most
easily interpreted as a highly reduced version of a typical
flower, in which many structures have been lost or
become vestigial.

It consists of an ovary at the tip of its stalk or pedicel (i.e.


a superior ovary) containing a single ovule which
matures as a single seed within an indehiscent dry fruit
the grass grain. At flowering the ovary bears two
feathery stigmas and is surrounded by three stamens.
Two small scales at the base of the ovary may be the
remnants of the petals and/or sepals and are called the
lodicules.

The inflorescence always consists of many of these


florets, aggregated together in a fairly limited number of
ways. The florets are encased within a variety of
sheathing structures which are interpreted as bracts (i.e.
leaves associated with the inflorescence). Two such
bracts are intimately associated with each floret, a
Fig 2. Grass floret, spikelet and inflorescence
34 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

The grass flower and inflorescence (cont’d)

boat-shaped lemma and a tongue-shaped palea. In the developing floret they press together and tightly enclose the floret,
they separate to expose stamens and stigmas for pollination, and then close together again to protect the developing grain.
They may well be shed along with the grain, and often bear whisker-like extrusions called awns which aid in seed dispersal.

The basic unit of the inflorescence is NOT the floret, but a very characteristic group of florets called a spikelet. The spikelet
consists of whisker-like stem (sometimes very short) called the rhachilla, which bears one, or two, or more than two florets
(each with its lemma and palea) laterally along its length, according to species. When there are more than two florets in the
spikelet they are nearly always discernibly in two rows, one row on each side of the rhachilla. At the base of the rhachilla are
two more boat-shaped bracts called the glumes. These do not have their own florets and typically enclose the spikelet as it is
developing. Beneath the glumes there may be a stalk or pedicel.

The spikelets are arranged in a variety of ways to form the grass inflorescence. Unlike that of sedges, the inflorescence does
not include any normal leaves and is made up entirely of spikelets and branches. There are two basic types of inflorescence:
the spike and the panicle. In the spike, the main axis of the inflorescence is unbranched and bears the spikelets directly, almost
always in a single row up one side or in two rows up opposite sides of the main axis. In the panicle, the main axis of the
inflorescence bears clusters of branches at intervals, and the spikelets are borne on the tips of these branches or on the tips of
subsequent branches. Just to make things difficult, the lateral branches of the panicle may be very short, so that the
inflorescence appears unbranched. This is known as a spike-like panicle (!). You can usually distinguish a spike-like panicle
from a spike because in the former the spikelets are NOT in one or two rows up the main axis. The trick is to recognise a
spikelet when you see it and this is always the crucial part of identifying any grass. Some grass inflorescences are shown
below.

Fig. 3 Example of grass inflorescences


35 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

The pyramidal inflorescence of Meadow Grasses Poa is a typical panicle. Cock’s-foot Dactylis glomerata has a panicle in which
the primary branches are long and the secondary branches are much shorter. Couch-grass or Common Couch (now Elytrigia
repens) and Perennial Ryegrass Lolium perenne have spikes with two rows of many-flowered spikelets. Mat-grass Nardus
stricta has a spike with one row of one-flowered spikelets. Meadow Foxtail Alopecurus pratensis and Crested Dog’s-tail
Cynosurus cristatus are spike-like panicles. The barleys have rather esoteric spikes, in which there are two rows of nodes on
the inflorescence axis and at each node there is a group of three single-flowered spikelets.

Fig. 4 Some examples of grass spikelets

Figure 4 shows some examples of spikelets. The vast majority of spikelets conform to one of three types: 1-flowered spikelets
(1 floret surrounded by two glumes) are shown in rows 1 and 2 (Sweet Vernal Grass is actually more complicated). Row three
shows two-flowered spikelets, also enclosed between the two glumes. Rows 4 and 6 (plus Crested Dog’s-tail) show many-
flowered spikelets, with the florets in two rows and the glumes usually exceeded in length by the florets.
36 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

We walked down into the wet and dry heath north of Banners Gate. We saw a good range of appropriate grasses, also some
of more mesotrophic conditions along the track by Westwood Coppice and some wetland grasses in the shallow scrape a little
further north. Later we retraced our steps and walked down to Longmoor Pool and the Miller’s field just beyond for yet more
grasses.

We also distributed a fairly complete list of grasses recorded in Birmingham and the Black Country, which is given below.

BIRMINGHAM AND BLACK COUNTRY GRASSES


bamboos omitted; numbers are 1 km records in B&BC flora; Ax = axiophyte

1. Unmistakable Grasses Phleum pratense Timothy 414


Cortaderia selloana Pampas-grass 10 Polypogon monspeliensis Annual Beard-grass 1
Cynodon dactylon Bermuda-grass 0 Setaria italica Foxtail Bristle-grass 3
Digitaria sanguinalis Hairy Finger-grass 2 Setaria pumila Yellow Bristle-grass 12
Nassella tenuissima Argentine Needle-grass 4 Setaria verticillata Rough Bristle-grass 1
Oryzopsis miliacea Smilo-grass 2 Setaria viridis Green Bristle-grass 15
Miscanthus sp. Silver-grass 1
Zea mays Maize 3 4. Panicles
4a. spikelet floret group shorter than glumes
2. Spikes 4a1. spikelet essentially 1-flowered
Brachypodium pinnatum Heath False-brome 2 Agrostis canina Velvet Bent 30 Ax
Brachypodium sylvaticum False Brome 156 Agrostis capillaris Common Bent 552
Catapodium marinum Sea Fern-grass 2 Agrostis gigantea Black Bent 146
Elymus caninus Bearded Couch 79 Agrostis stolonifera Creeping Bent 665
Elytrigia repens Common Couch 587 Agrostis vinealis Brown Bent 7 Ax
Hordelymus europaeus Wood Barley 1 Calamagrostis canescens Purple Small-reed 1
Hordeum distichon Two-rowed Barley 56 Calamagrostis epigejos Wood Small-reed 16 Ax
Hordeum jubatum Foxtail Barley 1 Milium effusum Wood-millet 55 Ax
Hordeum murinum Wall Barley 590 Phalaris arundinacea Reed Canary-grass 230
Hordeum secalinum Meadow Barley 12 Polypogon viridis Water Bent 13
Leymus arenarius Lyme-grass 2
Lolium multiflorum Italian Rye-grass 68
4a2. spikelet at least 2-3-flowered, any awns dorsal or
Lolium perenne Perennial Rye-grass 696
Lolium x boucheanum Hybrid Rye-grass 3
basal on lemma and geniculate
Nardus stricta Mat-grass 43 Ax Aira caryophyllea Silver Hair-grass 33 Ax
Secale cereale Rye 2 Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass 688
Triticum aestivum Bread Wheat 153 Avena fatua Wild-oat 69
Triticum turgidum Rivet Wheat 2 Avena sativa Oat 73
X Schedolium loliaceum Hybrid Fescue 2 Avenula pubescens Downy Oat-grass 3
Danthonia decumbens Heath-grass 25 Ax
Deschampsia cespitosa Tufted Hair-grass 366
Deschampsia flexuosa Wavy Hair-grass 154 Ax
3. Spike-like Panicles Holcus lanatus Yorkshire-fog 681
Aira praecox Early Hair-grass 66 Ax Holcus mollis Creeping Soft-grass 408
Alopecurus aequalis Orange Foxtail 0 Trisetum flavescens Yellow Oat-grass 107
Alopecurus geniculatus Marsh Foxtail 146
Alopecurus myosuroides Black-grass 23
Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail 380
Anthoxanthum odoratum Sweet Vernal-grass 279
Cynosurus cristatus Crested Dog’s-tail 317
Cynosurus echinatus Rough Dog’s-tail 1
Lagurus ovatus Hare’s-tail 4
Phalaris canariensis Canary-grass 49
Phleum bertolonii Smaller Cat’s-tail 32 Ax
37 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

4b. at least one glume shorter than the floret(s) Glossary


4b1. Spikelet essentially 1-2-flowered Auricle: small claw- or ear-like outgrowth at the junction of
Apera interrupta Dense Silky-bent 0 leaf sheath and leaf blade in some grasses. There are two, one
Apera spica-venti Loose Silky-bent 4 either side of the ligule
Catabrosa aquatica Whorl-grass 2 Ax
Awn: straight or bent (geniculate) bristle-like projection from
Echinochloa colona Shama Millet 2
Echinochloa crus-gallii Cockspur 26 the base, back or tip of a lemma or glume
Echinochloa esculenta Japanese Millet 0 Bract: much-reduced leaf associated with the inflorescence,
Melica uniflora Wood Melick 64 Ax such as the glume, lemma or palea
Panicum capillare Witch-grass 4
Floret: reduced, wind-pollinated grass flower, consisting of an
Panicum miliaceum Common Millet 20
ovary with two stigmas and three stamens borne between a
lemma and palea
4b2. Spikelet many-flowered
Anisantha diandra Great Brome 0 Folded: applies to leaf blades folded lengthwise along the
Anisantha sterilis Barren Brome 549 midrib, with the upper surface within the fold
Briza maxima Greater Quaking-grass 17 Geniculate: bent abruptly like a knee
Briza media Quaking-grass 27 Ax
Glume: one of two empty bracts at the base of the spikelet
Bromopsis erecta Upright Brome 13 Ax
Bromopsis inermis Hungarian Brome 4 Inflorescence: a group or cluster of spikelets plus any
Bromopsis ramosa Hairy-brome 104 Ax associated branches
Bromus commutatus Meadow Brome 5 Keel: sharp fold or ridge at the back of a compressed sheath,
Bromus hordeaceus Soft-brome 409
blade, glume or lemma
Bromus racemosus Smooth Brome 4
Bromus secalinus Rye Brome Post-Flora? Leaf blade: apical, flat or rolled and bristle-like apical part of
Bromus x pseudothominei Lesser Soft-brome 2 the grass leaf
Catapodium rigidum Fern-grass 40 Ax Leaf sheath: basal, tubular part of the grass leaf
Ceratochloa carinata Californian Brome 9
Lemma: outer of the two bracts which enclose the grass flower
Dactylis glomerata Cock’s-foot 705
Festuca brevipila Hard Fescue 6 Ligule: collar like outgrowth between the leaf blade and
Festuca filiformis Fine-lvd Sheep’s-fescue 16 Ax sheath. typically membranous, sometimes replaced by a ring of
Festuca rubra Red Fescue 663 hairs
Festuca ovina Sheep’s-fescue 126
Neophyte: Species introduced into UK since 1500
Glyceria declinata Small Sweet-grass 49 Ax
Glyceria maxima Reed Sweet-grass 232 Nerve: slender vein or rib of a glume, lemma or palea
Glyceria notata Plicate Sweet-grass 34 Ax Node: point on a stem where a leaf and other lateral organs
Glyceria fluitans x G. declinata arise
= G. x pedicellata Hybrid Sweet-grass 1
Glyceria fluitans Floating Sweet-grass 122 Palea: inner of the two bracts which enclose the grass flower
Molinia caerulea Purple Moor-grass 34 Ax Panicle: branched grass inflorescence, with the spikelets borne
Phragmites australis Common Reed 73 at tips of branches
Poa annua Annual Meadow-grass 698
Pedicel: the stalk of the spikelet below the attachment of the
Poa trivialis Rough Meadow-grass 515
glumes
Poa pratensis Smooth Meadow-grass 450
Poa compressa Flattened Meadow-grass 26 Ax Raceme: an unbranched inflorescence, but with the spikelets
Poa nemoralis Wood Meadow-grass 56 borne on pedicels
Poa humilis Spreading Meadow-grass 103
Rhachilla: main axis of spikelet
Poa angustifolia Narrow-lvd Meadow-grass 5 Ax
Poa chaixii Broad-leaved Meadow-grass 1 Rhachis: main axis of inflorescence
Puccinellia distans Reflexed Saltmarsh-grass 23 Rhizome: elongated underground stems with reduced, scale-
Schedonurus arundinaceus Tall Fescue 134 like leaves
Schedonurus giganteus Giant Fescue 124
Scale: miniature leaf without a blade
Schedonorus pratensis Meadow Fescue 27
Vulpia bromoides Squirreltail Fescue 141 Spike: unbranched grass inflorescence, with the spikelets
Vulpia myuros Rat’s-tail Fescue 221 borne directly on the main axis or rhachis in one or two rows
38 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

Spikelet characteristic cluster of one or more florets, usually


borne on a hair-like axis or rhachilla, with two glumes at the
base
Spike-like panicle: panicle in which the branches are so short
that the inflorescence resembles a spike
Stolon: prostrate or creeping, leafy stem, often rooting at the
nodes
Tuft: loos, compact or dense cluster of vegetative shoots
and/or stems
Vein: vascular strand within a leaf or bract

Ian Trueman

References

Consult the following for further information, illustrations etc.


Cope, T. & Gray, A (2009) Grasses of the British Isles. BSBI
Hubbard, C.E. (1984) Grasses ed. 3 Penguin Books
Stace, C. (2010) New Flora of the British Isles ed. 3 Cambridge
Sinker, C.A. (1975) A lateral key to the common grasses. Shropshire
Conservation Trust
39 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

DRONE SURVEY OF SUTTON PARK 2018


Mike asked his fellow Sandwell Valley naturalist Andy Purcell, in In our first three visits we covered most of the Longmoor
whose debt we already are for his fine plant photographs in the Valley, we then spent three more visits moving down the
Flora, if he would make some aerial photographs of Sutton Park Ebrook valley from Little Bracebridge to Keeper’s Pool and
for us. Andy very kindly readily agreed, as a voluntary finally spent a day covering the area between Powell’s and
contribution to the proposed Sutton Park Flora. After getting Wyndley Pools. We were able to get photographs covering
the approval of the Rangers we started work in March 2018 and about two thirds of the Park and were particularly pleased with
made seven visits in all and acquired over 400 photographs the heath and mire coverage – the woodlands are rather too
before the trees leafed up in May and obscured the view. Most dense to reveal a great deal from the air.
of the photographs are obliques from 200 ft or lower.
Some examples are given below.

1. Looking east north east from the mouth of the Longmoor Stream towards the Coronation Copse. The Longmoor Pool
Miller's field is visible on the right hand side. Left of this, it is clear that there is wetland on E side of Longmoor Stream. Great
Tussock-sedge Carex paniculata lines the left side of the stream, but it is clear that much of the mire to the left of that is heavily
colonised by Bulrush Typha latifolia, suggesting a degree of eutrophication.
40 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

2. Vertical at estuary of Longmoor Stream into Longmoor Pool. Note the Great Tussock-sedge tussocks

3. Longmoor Pool, looking east from over Westwood Coppice. The drier heath is in the foreground, with much Heather
Calluna vulgaris and the transition into wetter heath and more base-rich mire down to the pool is visible. Powell’s Pool is
also visible in the top right-hand corner.
41 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

4. The sewage scrape, north of Westwood Coppice. We are looking east, along the entire length the scrape made to
remove sewage in 2013, and then over the Roman Road (not obvious), then out of the Park towards Bar Beacon. There is
an extensive heath, with much Western Gorse Ulex gallii to the right of the scrape and you can also see that the drain along
the edge of the scrape penetrates westwards. It eventually connects with Longmoor Stream. The strange mowing pattern
left of the scrape is an experiment!

5. Looking south east from the Streetly Clumps area, with good heather moorland in the foreground (it is
not usually so wet!), Little Bracebridge Pool in the centre and Bracebridge Pool in the top left. The semi-
improved grassland across the railway line is visible in the top right and the scrub hiding rich mires in the
extreme right and all the way down to Bracebridge Pool.
42 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

6. Looking north west up the railway line from above Blackroot Pool. An area of heathland rich in
Bilberry, Cranberry and Crowberry and the edge of Upper Nut Hurst are seen on the left and Pool
Hollies and, in the distance, Bracebridge Pool, on the right.

7. Keeper’s Pool, looking west, with Holly Hurst to the left and above and Lower Nut Hurst to the
right and below.

Ian Trueman with photos by Andy Purcell


43 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

THE NEW EDITION OF THE STANDARD


FLORA OF THE BRITISH ISLES
The new edition (the fourth) of The New Flora of the British Isles by Clive Stace has just arrived. It's a good deal thinner (50 mm
down to 40mm) and lighter (1111g from 1822 g) than the third edition, but still has more pages (1266 from 1232), so they must be
thinner. I hope they will stand the strain of constant use! The basic family taxonomy looks largely unchanged, but he says that
'numerous changes, some unexpected are indicated at the genus level'. I think that this is largely about the modern investigation of
relationships using DNA analysis. He also says that he has omitted all aliens not recorded since 1999 although some are still in the
keys. He also says that the entire text has been revised word for word. It is truly a vast and wonderful enterprise!

As with the third edition, I think that the biggest difficulty will come with changes in Latin name.
I have not got all the way through the 1266 pages yet, but there are quite a few of these! Some
of them involve the merging of closely related genera, which often leads to the reappearance of
old but still familiar names. For example, Scarlet Pimpernel is now Anagallis arvensis; Bugloss is
Lycopsis arvensis and Welsh Poppy is now Papaver cambrica. These kinds of changes are known
in the trade as ‘lumping’.

More problematic are situations where old familiar genera are divided into two or more, which is
known as ‘splitting’. There are quite a few of these kind of changes in the new edition, such as
Avenella for part of the Hair-grass genus Deschampsia, and Hairy Tare is now Ervilia hirsuta. I
have by no means gone through them all yet, but we are currently re-designing our common
plants recording sheet, to include all species with more than 50 monad records in Birmingham
and the Black Country.

In the table below are all the species in this list whose names have changed.

Stace 3 name Stace 4 name English name Nature


Anagallis arvensis Lysimachia arvensis Scarlet Pimpernel lump
Anchusa arvensis Lycopsis arvensis Bugloss lump
Apium nodiflorum Helosciadium nodiflorum Fool’s Watercress name change
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Cupressus lawsoniana Lawson’s Cypress lump
Chamerion angustifolium Chamaenerion angustifolium Rosebay Willowherb name change
Conyza canadensis Erigeron canadensis Canadian Fleabane lump
Conyza sumatrensis Erigeron sumatrensis Guernsey Fleabane lump
Deschampsia flexuosa Avenella flexuosa Wavy Hair-grass split
Elytrigia repens Elymus repens Common Couch lump
Fallopia japonica Reynoutria japonica Japanese Knotweed split
Malus pumila Malus domestica Domesticated Apple name change
Meconopsis cambrica Papaver cambrica Welsh Poppy lump
Persicaria bistorta Bistorta officinalis Common Bistort split
Potamogeton pectinatus Stuckenia pectinata Fennel Pondweed split
Salix fragilis Salix x fragilis (+ euxina) Crack-willow split
Sedum rupestre Petrosedum rupestre Reflexed Stonecrop split
Sedum spurium Phedimus spurius Caucasian-stonecrop split
Senecio jacobaea Jacobaea vulgaris Common Ragwort split
Tilia x vulgaris Tilia x europaea Lime name change
Vicia hirsuta Ervilia hirsuta Hairy Tare split
Vicia tetrasperma Ervium tetraspermum Smooth Tare split
X Cupressocyparis leylandii Cupressus x leylandii Leyland Cypress lump
44 │ B&BC Botanical Society Newsletter 2018

Other notices:
2017 AGM
The 2017 Birmingham and Black Country AGM was
held on 10th March 2018 once again in the lovely
surrounding of Winterbourne House and Gardens.

The AGM was well attended and was followed by


an exploration of the gardens

A big thank you to Winterbourne House and


Gardens for letting us use the meeting room!

OBITUARY – BILL THOMPSON

I am sorry to report the death in January of one of our members: Bill Thompson.
Although he no longer lives in our area he helped with the B&BC Flora by editing
the entries for the hawkweeds Hieracium, and he was responsible for practically all
the Hieracium records and a good number of all the plant records for the Dudley
part of the Worcestershire vice-county records in our Flora as well.

He was without doubt one of the most thorough recorders for the first (Sinker)
Flora of Shropshire, he helped with the Montgomeryshire Flora and was a major
contributor to the Worcestershire Flora. Through all this he was always the most
pleasant companion and correspondent and he will be greatly missed.

With thanks to all those who provided content for this newsletter including articles, photographs and records!

Photographs featured in this bulletin were provided by Chris Parry, Mike Poulton, Ian Trueman, Perry Adams, Simon Phipps, Lukas
Large, Mark Powell, Andy Purcell and Andy Slater.

Newsletter design by Andy Slater ©EcoRecord

Contact Us

General Enquiries:
To find out more about the society including information on upcoming events and how to get involved please email us at
enquiries@ecorecord.org.uk

Events Bookings:
Ian Trueman: i.c.trueman@wlv.ac.uk

Mike Poulton: Poulton_mike@yahoo.co.uk

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