Ptyxis Ecology - Our Botany Blog

Monday, 6 August 2007

NEW county record for Durham v.c. 66

I can remember desperately wanting to get my first new VC record when I got into field botany. It was pretty hard to achieve this as at the time I was living in Surrey, one of the most thoroughly botanised counties in England. The chances of a new VCR were limited and only ever likely to be a non-native species. Eventually after obsessively recording in every tetrad in the BSBI's Local Change project in Surrey, I found that holy grail, a new VCR in Verbascum speciosum, Hungarian mullien. John and I have found a few new county records for Durham and Northumberland since moving up here in March 2006, and this year spotted an odd looking spurge while doing a recce for a training day at Hamsterley Forest. Eric Clement, one of Britain's top experts on non-native plants, kindly confirmed it as Euphorbia dulcis, sweet spurge, which I think is new to Durham v.c. 66.

My best botany moments have been when routine recording has turned up some really unusual species; going to a site specifically to re-find something (no matter how rare or endangered) is a very poor second best. I try to encourage people who do the latter to have a go at recording because I think that it is really so much more exciting to find new, unexpected things for yourself!

What do you think? What's your best botany moment??




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