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Botany Report for 2008

by Gill Smith

sea heath Frankenia laevis Although weather-wise 2008 was rather disappoointing with the worst display of blackthorn I can remember, and wettest August for sevaral years, it did have its excitements, not least two new speices recorded in our area: Nan Sykes found Chinese bramble Rubus tricolor at Cawthorne, and Bill Thompson discovered sea heath Frankenia laevis growing in the salt-spray zone along the A170 at Howkeld (left). I received records from Rhona Sutherland and Tom and Janet Denney as well as Nan and Bill – who managed to find a number of interesting species such as blue fleabane, ploughman’s spikenard and bee orchid along the Malton bypass, as well as many interesting grasses and sedges across the area as well as at least two records of pepper saxifrage, a plant I have never seen! My contributions were two mutants: a very peculiar form of white clover that seemed to be growing leaves where the flowers should be, and a very unusual chlorophyll-free helleborine.