Field meeting reports

Meeting date: 30 July 2005

(Leader: Anne de Potier)

A strange fact: in the haul of more than 200 species bagged for the incomplete SU70Q tetrad, conspicuous only by their absence were the allegedly ubiquitous Bellis perennis (Daisy) and Taraxacum agg. (Dandelion).  But how to do justice to this remarkable day in the field?  The sunshine, blue sea and floristic richness of the maritime vascular flora were intoxicating.  The few of those attending who had set foot on the sand of Pilsey before confirmed that the dune area had expanded as we admired quantities of Calystegia soldanella (Sea Bindweed), Crithmum maritimum (Rock Samphire) and Carex extensa (Long-bracted Sedge).  The Evening Primrose scattered about was determined as Oenothera cambrica, known also on neighbouring East Head.  These and many other delights detained us until it was time for lunch.  We then set off westwards along the footpath around the edge of the peninsula, steadily gathering further plant records including Lotus glaber (Narrow-leaved Bird’s-foot-trefoil), Oenanthe pimpinelloides (Corky-fruited Water-dropwort) and Carex distans (Distant Sedge).  The find of the day was made by Ady – and what a find!  A storm in 1963 swept off nearby East Head the only colony of Euphorbia portlandica (Portland Spurge) in the county: forty-two years later its prettily garish coral-pink stems have been seen again in the county.  Before they dispersed, the 27 members were justifiably lavish in their praise of Anne for organising a truly wonderful day.