Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Eyebright Update

Chris & Jane Gilmour
Image: courtesy of C. Metherell
Chris Metherell has been in touch to tell us how he has been getting on with his research towards the next Euphrasia Handbook (Eyebrights). 

He said "First off was a trip to Jersey, Herm and Guernsey, where the Euphrasia  situation is a little odd, with very few species recorded.  We did our best to check out the records for E. stricta which is believed to be native there (introduced elsewhere in the UK), or at least was, we failed to find any!  


Playing safe... an Eyebright!
Image: courtesy of C. Metherell
"However most of the plants we saw were either E. tetraquetra or hybrids of that species.  We sampled about 15 populations for further analysis.  The photo (above) is me and JaneGilmour the Guernsey VC Recorder getting to grips with Euphrasia (on left) on a golf course! 

"Then to North Wales, where the lowland Euphrasia were well out, mostly E. arctica and E. confusa but of course the upland species were not flowering.  

"Off to Orkney later this month with Fred Rumsey.  We've done quite a lot of background work on the Euphrasia there already - John Crossley kindly loaned a sheaf of specimens ID'd by Peter Yeo in the 1970s, I collected there three years ago, and of course I've been trawling herbaria... So I think we should be able to build up a pretty good picture. After that it's back to the mainland to work our way along the north coast of Scotland to deal with the endemic species there. And of course they've been testing out the latest keys in Kintail!"