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U3A Botany Group August 2015

by Beryl Matthews - 07:52 on 07 August 2015

Orkney U3A Botany Group            4th August 2015

On a sunny but windy afternoon six members of the Botany Group met to look at the plants to be found in the Sutherland Links, Burray.  Armed with a note of some possible finds, kindly supplied by John Crossely, we were soon trying to work out whether what we were looking at was one of the plants on John’s list or not and learning what such words as ‘mucronate’ mean.  His advice to look at bare and disturbed areas rather than overgrown ones was wise advice. 

In addition to the slightly more rare plants John suggested we look for there were lots of more readily identified plants and such things as the spikiness and glorious purple and grey of a Spear Thistle were admired.  Watching three different types of butterfly dance in a sheltered patch of sunshine was a special treat. 

The afternoon concluded with excellent tea, coffee and shortbread at the Sands Hotel.

The Group’s next meeting is planned for Tuesday 18th August meeting at Deesbreck on the road towards Durkadale S of Hundland (map reference HY298254). 


Plants recognised:-

Spear thistle

Eyebright sp


Spear-leafed orache

Common ragwort


Common mouse-ear

Sea campion

Mayweed sp.

Tufted vetch

Greater knapweed

Red dead-nettle

Dock sp.

Bird’s foot trefoil

Meadow vetchling

Opium poppy

White clover

Dandelion sp

White/red campion

Smooth sow-thistle

Red clover

Wild angelica

Yellow rattle


Black medick

Marsh marigold

Ragged robin

Sea sandwort



White mustard

Long-headed poppy

Ribwort plantain



Wild radish                               


Creeping thistle


Common comfrey

Cow parsley

Forget-me-not sp

Marsh cinquefoil

Shepherd’s purse

Lady’s bedstraw


Common buttercup

Common nettle

Flag iris





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