Southern Marsh Orchids

Southern Marsh Orchids

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Dropwort and Emperor Dragonfly at Mynydd Ruthin

I recently made a return visit to Mynydd Ruthin southeast of Pencoed (which I had visited back in April on a Glamorgan Botany Group excursion), primarily to see if I could find a patch of Dropwort (Filipendula vulgaris) reported by Rob & Linda Nottage on 11 June.

With an approximate location to hand, and Bracken having grown up to a remarkable extent since our earlier visit, it took me a little while to locate the spot, but after half an hour or so I got lucky! Spreading over 50cm x 50cm, the stems were remarkably tall (about 60cm), and towards the end of flowering. In retrospect it was actually quite an obvious place for it to be, as on this part of the site there was no Bracken, and not far away there were a couple of other otherwise-absent calcareous indicators, including Salad Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba), Wild Thyme (Thymus polytrichus) and Long-stalked Cranesbill (Geranium columbinum).

The patch of Dropwort at Mynydd Ruthin.
Close-up of the distinctive leaves of this species.

This is only the second confirmed site of Dropwort in Glamorgan, with the other record having been made at Oxwich Point in 1997 - so well done to Rob and Linda for finding what appears to be a good native locality.

On a non-botanical note, on my way round I did spot an Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) resting on a Bracken frond. Amazingly, it sat there patiently while I got my camera out, before flying off. Better than my effort at the Dropwort, I hope you'll agree!

Male Emperor Dragonfly.

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