Saturday 17 February 2024

A putative hybrid between G. lucidum and G. robertianum in Shropshire

Spring is definitely stirring despite the rain rain rain and it is about now when Shining Crane's-bill Geranium lucidum becomes very obvious on the hedge banks.  The photo below was beside a lane in All Stretton two weeks ago, and occupying the same space was Herb-Robert Geranium robertianum (centre, more finely divided leaves), and herein lies the reason for this posting: 

Shining Crane's-bill Geranium lucidum and Herb-Robert G. robertianum

In the past a hybrid between G. lucidum and G. robertianum was said to have been found at 'Mill in the Hole', Bridgnorth, Salop (Daniels Mill). This hybrid is not mentioned in the Hybrid Flora of the British Isles (Stace, 2015), but was mentioned in Stace 1975 by McClintock when it was said to be in a couple of places. There is some uncertainty around the validity of the record due to the lack of a convincing herbarium specimen. 

Michael Wilcox, BSBI member has been researching Geranium lucidum and has asked Shropshire botanists to keep an eye out for unusual looking specimens that could indicate hybridisation. Michael would welcome flowering specimens of G. lucidum to look at pollen and stomata, and would want to receive live specimens of plants with flowers/flower buds and some root (they are shallow rooted so should be possible). Please exercise the usual protocol for collecting specimens (BSBI Code of Conduct), and contact Michael beforehand: 

So this is your mission, keep an eye out for odd looking G.lucidum whilst you are out and about, and especially if you are visiting the rather fine looking Daniels Mill near Bridgnorth as it is now known:

From Daniels Mill webpage 

We don't really know what constitutes odd but if you have a suspect, contact Michael Wilcox: 

Mags Cousins (Joint Recorder VC40, BSBI)

Friday 2 February 2024

Willow Emerald Damselfly


Photograph of a Willow Emerald Damselfly by Steve Cham

This time of year - when you are out and about looking for the early signs of spring - there is a frustrating lack of leaves and flowers - but you would be doing a huge service if, on your botanical jaunts, you might look out for signs of a potential new arrival in Shropshire the Willow Emerald Damselfly.  These insects lay their eggs in late summer directly into branches of willows and alders and similar that hang over slow flowing rivers or sheltered standing waters. The plant in response produces these patterns of galls known as scars which are so distinctive they are actually accepted as species records for this imminent new arrival- as yet unrecorded in Shropshire! Sue Rees Evans would love to know if you see these scars, or indeed the adults later this summer...or if you're very lucky you may see the eggs hatch and the young larvae emerging from the twigs in spring!   Just take a look at these pictures and if you see any signs of Willow Emerald Damselfly please contact Sue at

Additional photographs below provided by Steve Cham.

Thank you

Tuesday 30 January 2024

Microscopy Workshop 10th February


Martin Godfrey has very kindly offered to run a general microscopy techniques workshop for anyone interested in using microscopes. Martin is an experienced Associate Tutor for the Field Studies Council and past President of the British Bryological Society, and has tutored microscopy courses for different organisations.

Microscopes can be used for many different purposes including finding and measuring stomata and looking at pollen and spore fertility, as well as being used to identify bryophytes. As a general workshop Martin will cover the basics as well as providing samples for more experienced individuals.

Microscopes are being provided by the FSC, but please bring your own if you prefer, as well as your lunch! Tuition and samples are kindly being provided by Martin and it looks to be an excellent day. It is due to take place on the 10th February at Preston Montford field study centre at 10AM. Booking is required, please contact Martin Godfrey as places are limited:

We look forward to seeing you then.   

Saturday 13 January 2024

Winter Social Sunday 21st Jan: "More than Meets the Eye – the wildlife of Grace Dieu, Leicestershire", a talk by Steve Woodward

Please join us for the Winter Social Indoor meeting, coming soon on Sunday 21st January 2024 - at 14:00 at Preston Montford Field Studies Centre, Montford Bridge, Shrewsbury SY4 1DX.  We can look forward to an interesting talk see below and share a cuppa and a piece of cake. 

"More than Meets the Eye – the wildlife of Grace Dieu, Leicestershire, by Steve Woodward."

Steve Woodward is the joint BSBI recorder for Leicestershire & Rutland and is also the local co-ordinator for six invertebrate groups.
His talk will be about his most recent project which has involved a wonderful in-depth study of Grace Dieu Priory grounds. The resulting report is a little like Sinker’s wonderful flora where the soils, and geology are covered in depth to illustrate the relationship between species and place.

The report has been published and is available to buy:

Steve’s photographs, knowledge and holistic approach will have something for everyone - and we can look forward to his accounts of vascular plants that were rediscovered such as Moschatel Adoxa moschatellina and Toothwort Lathraea squamaria and some rarities such as Bog Pimpernel Lysimachia tenella.  

Members and non members are welcome, no need to book.  The event is free, but donations from non members are welcome to help cover venue hire and refreshments.  There is usually ample parking on site and lifts can be arranged from Shrewsbury railway station if required.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Bot Soc Committee