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U3A Botany Group - June 2018 (2)

by Peter Slater - 20:01 on 21 June 2018

A party of seven members of the Botany group braved a strong wind to visit Graemsay on 19th June.  We took the 10.00 boat via Moaness and returned to Stromness, again calling in at Hoy, on the 16.15 ferry. Fortunately, the wind abated during the day, and it remained quite sunny without any rain.

None of us was particularly expert and we made rather slow progress, stopping to examine any plants we came across and take the time to identify them where we could not do so immediately. We wended our way rather slowly up the hill from the pier, and took the long straight track south to the shore from Windbreck. A picnic table was conveniently located above the shore and here we stopped for lunch, though by this stage two of our number had retreated back north as the going was rather tough with long vegetation covering the track. Alongside the track we has passed a good stand of northern marsh orchids, with a rather perplexing orchid close by the identity of which we were unable to determine.

After lunch we went a short distance along the shore and then on the track across the island past Gorn to meet the road going north from the kirk to Sandside bay, from which we walked along the road back to the pier. While we had not covered a huge distance, we had spent a lot of time examining plants and ended up with a creditable list of 61 species. Perhaps the most striking of these was the common twayblade, quite a number of which were growing beside the road in the middle of the island. All in all is had been a rewarding and interesting day.

Plants seen: Primrose, Red campion, Daisy, Hogweed, Angelica, Rosebay willowherb, Dandelion, Sea plantain, Ribwort plantain, Birdsfoot trefoil, Creeping buttercup, Bush vetch, Northern marsh orchid, White clover, Lady’s bedstraw, Tormentil, Heather, Common dog-violet, Sorrel, Cow parsley, Red clover, Spear thistle, Silverweed, Stinging nettle, Water forgetmenot, Water mint, Marsh marigold, Common mouse-ear, Flag iris, Common orache, Sea mayweed, Meadow vetchling, Pineapple weed, Common catsear, Crested dog’s tail, Yorkshire fog, Common sedge, Early purple orchid?, Creeping willow, Marsh thistle, Marsh ragwort, Common cottongrass, Hard fern, Heath spotted orchid, Lousewort, Lady’s smockYellow rattle, Ragged robin, Procumbent pearlwort, Thrift, Cross leaved heath, Heath bedstraw, Butterwort, Common twayblade, Lesser spearwort, Curled dock, Broad-leaved dock, Meadow buttercup, Cleavers, Common spearwort, Marsh horsetail.

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