Old Records - Raasay
Records by Harrison et al.
There are 130 taxa recorded by J. W. Heslop Harrison and co-workers that have not been re-found recently. This sounds high in the context of 616 taxa recorded by the author. However, things are not as bad as they seem.
The table below summarises the placement of these 130 taxa somewhat arbitrarily into one of eight categories. Clearly some belong in more than one category but for simplicity a single home has been selected for each taxon.
|Minor forms no longer thought important||4|
Given the complete changes in taxonomy to some critical groups between the 1930s and the present, the number of microspecies listed as not re-found is an estimate. There is also an element of judgement in assigning error status to some records - some may yet turn out to be correct.
Despite the amount of effort put into Raasay in the past 26 years, it is likely that some of these will be re-found yet. During the five years 2004-2008, the following eleven taxa previously included above have been re-found:
|Chara vulgaris||Previously overlooked|
|X Dactylodenia st-quintinii||Newly arisen hybrid|
|Dactylorhiza x transiens||Probably previously overlooked|
|Dactylorhiza x venusta||Probably previously overlooked|
|Eleocharis uniglumis||Previously overlooked|
|Euphrasia nemorosa||Confirmed by expert identification|
|Montia fontana subsp. fontana||Closer examination of subspecies|
|Viola arvensis||Emerged form disturbed soil|
|Viola tricolor||Probably previously missed|
Many of the taxa classed as weeds were single records from ground that has not been cultivated for decades and so have a reduced likelihood of being found now.
The 37 plants that I have classified as interesting are as follows:
|Anthriscus sylvestris||Euphrasia micrantha||Parnassia palustris|
|Asplenium septentrionale||Euphrasia scottica||Poa nemoralis|
|Avenula pratensis||Geum x intermedium||Polystichum setiferum|
|Callitriche hermaphroditica||Honckenya peploides||Ranunculus auricomus|
|Campanula rotundifolia||Hypericum humifusum||Sagina maritima|
|Carex caryophyllea||Hypericum tetrapterum||Salix phylicifolia|
|Carex distans||Lepidium heterophyllum||Sedum acre|
|Carex disticha||Lycopodiella inundata||Sonchus arvensis|
|Carex vesicaria||Mentha arvensis||Spergularia marina|
|Chara aspera||Milium effusum||Tofieldia pusilla|
|Cochlearia danica||Myosotis scorpioides||Trifolium medium|
|Cochlearia scotica||Oxyria digyna||Typha latifolia|
Taxa highlighted in yellow have been recorded since Harrison's time but not since before 1970. Callitriche hermaphroditica was recorded again in 1977, Poa nemoralis in 1978 and Geum x intermedium in 1987 but they have not been seen since.
Taxa highlighted in green have definitely disappeared form the sites of original record.
Many of these plants are known on Skye. A few have herbarium records to support them. Three of the most interesting, A. septentrionale, L. inundata and T. pusilla, have been searched for many times by myself and CWM and others.
More recent records not re-found
omitted records, there are also 37 taxa recorded since the Harrison
expeditions, which have not been seen recently and which may be similarly
During the five years 2004-2008, the following three taxa that were in the above group have been re-found:
|Castanea sativa||Previously overlooked|
|Equisetum x litorale||Previously overlooked|
|Potamogeton berchtoldii||Previously overlooked|
I have classified three taxa as right on the grounds that the recorders are reliable and unlikely to have erred in these instances:
|Neottia nidus-avis||Bird's-nest Orchid|
|Sherardia arvensis||Field Madder|
|Raphanus raphanistrum||Wild Radish|
In the case of Neottia, I have the voucher specimen.
The three taxa I have classified as interesting are:
|Drosera intermedia||Oblong-leaved Sundew|
|Galium boreale||Northern Bedstraw|
All are known from Skye, though I believe D. intermedia to be over-recorded there.