Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Ulex x breoganii a new hybrid gorse for Wexford

Ulex x breoganii is a hybrid between Ulex europaeus (Gorse) and Ulex gallii (Western Gorse). Gorse is common over the whole of the county. Western Gorse is much more restricted within the county, often being found on the more heathy ground and acid soils. Zoe Delvin the finder said would I like to go and see a gorse she had found, which from photos we thought could be Ulex minor (Dwarf Gorse), a species that has only once been reported from the county back in 1959.

There were 11 bushes of Ulex x breoganii on the side of a disused railway at Mountelliott, a little north of New Ross. The books all say measure a range of flowers, I did this with flowers from all 11 bushes and could see they better fitted between the two species. Ulex europaeus has blue/green stems and foliage and large strong spines, and pale yellow flowers. Whilst Ulex gallii has dark green foliage and week spines and whole plant much more slender, and golden yellow flowers. Ulex x breoganii is somewhere in the middle, foliage is neither blue/green or dark green and the flowers are a deep yellow but not as golden as Ulex gallii. To be sure we sent photos to Jeanne Webb who is very familiar with the hybrid and Jeanne agreed with our ID.

 Below: The proud finder taking photos of Ulex x breoganii.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Calystegia x howittiorum (C. pulchra x C. silvatica) new for Wexford

 Alexis Fitxgerald email me to ask if I knew the hybrid between Calystegia pulchra (Hairy Bindweed) x Calystegia silvatica (Large Bindweed) = Calystegia x howittiorum - that day I didn't. The next day I was driving along in Wexford and saw the above pink flowered bindweed in a roadside hedge, I stopped to get a map reference. On looking at the plant I could see it wasn't C. pulchra as I had expected but the hybrid C. x howittiorum. The next day I stopped to look at a known site for C. pulchra, and again it was the hybrid. The hybrid has never been recorded form Wexford before. The hybrid has pink flowers, bracteoles (see photos below) near to Calystegia silvatica subsp. disjuncta, plus the pedicel has a wavy-edged wing (see photo below) like C. pulchra.

                                 Above: Calystegia x howittiorum left. Calystegia pulchra right.

                      Below: showing the wavy-edged wing of the hybrid inherited from C. pulchra

Monday, 7 August 2017

Pastinaca sativa subsp. urens (Eastern Parsnip) a new parsnip for Ireland

 After reading Alan Leslie's article on 'An overlooked parsnip in Britain' in BSBI News No. 134 January 2017, I started to wonder if the parsnip at Rosslare Ferryport could also be Pastinaca sativa subsp. urens (Eastern Parsnip). I had to wait until it flowered. A specimen was sent to Alan and he agreed it was Eastern Parsnip. This new parsnip has sort of a round stem, but has no deep grooves and ridge like the other subsp. have. Also the terminal umbel on Eastern Parsnip is the same size as all the other heads on the same plant. The bottom picture shows a large patch of the Eastern Parsnip on a bank by all the parked new cars and vans. The area has just been fenced in, much harder now to gain access.