Some plants in the news

Allium ampeloprasum by Philmarin CC BY-SA 3.0

A couple of interesting plant stories have appeared in the last few weeks. Firstly, in BSBI News for Jan 2021 there are reports on two of the plants in our Rare Plant Register.

The first, is Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Wild Leek). Tim Rich collected and cultivated plants from the colony on Flat Holm (VC41) and determined that it never sets seed. His conclusion is that the colony is likely to be a single sterile clone of cultivated origin. As a result, he calls into question its status in the British Vascular Plant Red Data Book. He believes that both the Flat Holm and Steep Holm (VC6) colonies are likely to be relics of cultivation.

The second species, Lythrum hyssopifolia (Grass-poly), has been re-found after an absence of over 100 years by the Norfolk Pond Project following pond restoration. This species has always been very rare in the UK. Before you rush out to hunt for it in Somerset you should read the RPR account.

And finally, the ultimate gall  –  a newly described fungus from Guyana that mimics a flower – as described on the the excellent botanical blog “In Defense of Plants”.