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U3A Botany Group - 5 July 2021

by Peter Slater - 10:09 on 09 July 2021

Six of us got together at St Peter’s Church in South Ronaldsay at 2pm on 5th July. It was a fine day over most of Orkney but with a bit of a haar in this area, being blown in on a warm SE breeze. We set out on the seaward side of the church to walk north-westwards along the coast, using a good path to begin with, leading to a rather more challenging one for some of us as we got further along. We walked round to Manse Bay and then inland past the old manse, before making use of the track from it back to the road and so down to where we had started. The area along the coast is ungrazed and rough, normally damp in places, but not at all so at present given the recent dry weather. It treated us to a wonderful profusion of wild flowers. Sadly Rosey Whittles could not be with us and none of us bore a camera so we lack photos to illustrate the blog. However, we were lucky to have John Crossley amongst us as he was able to show us many plants with which at least some of us were unfamiliar. The following are those that I noted down, though the list is certainly not exhaustive:

Red bartsia, Arctic eyebright, Yellow rattle, Lady’s bedstraw, Hogweed, Bird’s foot trefoil, Field horsetail, Pineapple weed, Dock, Common cat’s ear, Red campion, Ribwort plantain, White clover, Creeping thistle, Rough meadow-grass, Sea mayweed, Cleavers, Babington’s orache, Cow parsley, Marsh horsetail, Red clover, Scots lovage, Flag iris, Meadow buttercup, Lyme grass, Sea campion, Sorrel, Daisy, Sea campion, Angelica, Meadow vetchling, Bush vetch, Stinging nettle, Curled dock, Amphibious bistort, Prickly sow thistle, Spear thistle, Ragwort, Sea sandwort, Northern marsh orchid.

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