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