Summer meeting 1966: Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

HomeEventsSummer meeting 1966: Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

21 August 1966 - 2 September 1966

Meeting report

The Summer Meeting was held in Ireland this year, centred on Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Fourteen members attended, although the party was reduced to six during the second week. The primary object of the meeting was to make a contribution to the census of species for the vice-counties in that area, none of which has been very well worked previously. A total of more than 300 new vice-county records was made for East Cork (H. 5), Waterford (H. 6), South Tipperary (H. 7), Limerick (H. 8) and Kilkenny (H. 11). Recording was also carried out for the maps scheme, records being made for twenty-eight ten-kilometer squares.

During the meeting four species were added to the known flora of Ireland, Fossombronia incurva, Cephaloziella integerrima, Fissidens bambergeri and F. celticus.

Due to the large number of new vice-county records it is not possible to include them all in this account. Details should be sought in ‘New Vice-County Records and Amendments ‘.

21 August. The main party spent the day in H. 6. Travelling eastwards to the Nier Valley a stop was made at a small wooded ravine north of the Punchbowl Mt. where Lophocolea heterophylla*, L. fragrans*, Scapania scandica* and Jubula hutchinsiae were seen. Pellia neesiana*, Hygrobiella laxifolia*, Gymnomitrion crenulatum, Sphagnum confertum, Oligotrichum hercynicum* and Acrocladium stramineum* were collected on moorland east of the Punchbowl. At Loughnafrankee Hygrohypnum eugyrium was collected where the stream is wooded.

[* New v.-c. record throughout. ]

In the Nier Valley the Irish Spurge, here at its most easterly station, was seen growing by the roadside. Metzgeria fruticulosa and Lepidozia pinnata were found in regenerated oak woodland nearby.

By the River Nier itself Marchantia polymorpha var. aquatica*, Solenostoma cordifolium*, Harpanthus scutatus*, Dicranella schreberana*, Orthotrichum pulchellum* and Thuidium delicatulum* were collected at Shanballyanne. A field near Clogheen, Ballymacarbry, produced Anthoceros laevis*, Ditrichum cylindricum*, Pseudephemerum nitidum* and Bryum ruderale*.

Two members, travelling from Cork, recorded Bryum donianum* and Metzgeria fruticulosa* east of Fermoy in H. 5. Near the quarry, by the Owenashad River, north of Lismore (H. 6), they found Dumortiera hirsuta, Porella pinnata*, Aphanolejeunea microscopica* and Bryum argenteum var. lanatum*.

22 August. Coumshingaun, a corrie on the east side of the Comeragh Mts., in H.6 was the venue for this day. The following species were recorded:

On the way up: Calypogeia sphagnicola*, Cephaloziella hampeana*, Porella thuja, P. cordaeana*, Lejeunea patens*, Frullania fragilifolia* and Polytrichum alpestre*. Slopes north of the lake: Douinia ovata*, Harpalejeunea ovata, Frullania germana*, F. fragilifolia, Pohlia elongata*, Hedwigia integrifolia* and Ulota hutchinsiae. Slopes and ravines above the south shore: Herberta adunca, Aphanolejeunea microscopica, Polytrichum alpinum*, Dicranella subulata var. curvata*, Cynodontium bruntonii, Grimmia stricta, G. doniana*, Mnium rugicum and Hedwigia integrifolia*. Antitrichia curtipendula grew between boulders by the lake. By the road below the lake, Mrs Appleyard and Mr Duckett found Cephaloziella integerrima*, new to Ireland, on a steep clay bank, the result of recent road widening. For this square 209 species were recorded, the best for the meeting.

23 August. Lough Curra in the Galtee Mts. was the objective on Tuesday. The difficulty of gaining access to the Galtee range has discouraged botanists from going there in the past. However, now that much of the lower slopes are afforested, it is possible to get within one hour’s climbing distance of the peaks by using forestry roads. After one unsuccessful attempt to get close to the lake the party divided and another road was found on the Co. Limerick side, north-east of Mitchelstown, which enabled cars to be taken to Monabrack below Dawson’s Table and the cliffs above L. Curra. On the way up from Monabrack Mylia anomala*, Dicranella palustris, Pohlia elongata*, and Drepanocladus exannulatus var. exannulatus* were recorded for H. 8. The steep slopes and rock ledges above the lake itself are in H. 7 and here Herberta adunca, Gymnomitrion crenulatum, Scapania scandica*, S. aequiloba*, Radula voluta*, Cololejeunea calcarea*, Colura calyptrifolia*, Diphyscium foliosum*, Cynodontium bruntonii*, Campylopus schwarzii, Pohlia acuminata* and P. polymorpha* were recorded.

Below Galtymore and Knockeenatoung, in H. 7, Mausupella funckii*, Mylia taylori*, Dicranella rufescens*, Grimmia doiniana* and Acrocladium stramineum* were recorded.

24 August. The Knockmealdown Mts. are considered botanically uninteresting for their lack of unusual flowering plants. However, the bryophyte flora of the area was not well known. The wooded Glenshelane River (H. 6) on the east of the range was the first area investigated. By a stream flowing westwards into the river Solenostoma pumilum, Lophocolea fragrans and Jubula hutchinsiae were found. Riccia warnstorfii*, R. glauca*, R. sorocarpa*, Blasia pusilla* and Diplophyllum obtusifolium* were found along a forest path on the west bank of the river and here also Fossombronia incurva*, new to Ireland, was found by Mrs Paton and Mr Little. After lunch the party divided. The Owenashad River, already visited on the first day of the meeting, was searched more thoroughly. Barbula spadicea*, Mnium stellare and Isothecium holtii* were found by the river near the quarry. At Bay Lough, on the Tipperary side of the mountains near ‘The Vee’, Lepidozia trichoclados*, Calypogeia neesiana var. neesiana*, Frullania microphylla, Fissidens curnowii and Dicranum scottianum were found. At the limestone quarry near Ardfinnan, Marchesinia mackaii*, Aloina aloides*, Barbula hornschuchiana* and Tortella nitida* were added for H. 7.

25 August. As the weather still continued warm and sunny it was decided to examine the Waterford coast (H. 6). Cliffs near Slippery Island, west of Bunmahon, proved disappointing. Cephaloziella stellulifera* and Bryum sauteri* were found in a field near the sea. The former species was also found on the spoil heaps of the old copper mines east of Bunmahon, where Lophozia excisa* and Cephaloziella starkii were also present. Cephaloziella massalongoi* was found in a cave near high-water mark and on the top of the cliffs. Sphagnum squarrosum*, S. fimbriatum*, and Orthotrichum tenellum* were collected at Ballinlough, west of Kill.

26 August. The morning was spent on an extensive raised bog south of Longfordpass Bridge (H. 7). Much of this bog has been cut over and the remainder appears to be drying out. Calypogeia neesiana, Cephaloziella hampeana and some good material of Riccardia latifrons* were soon found. The grid card showed just over 100 species recorded by midday. Three other areas were visited by separate parties on the return journey to Clonmel: Riccardia latifrons and Calypogeia sphagnicola* were found at a bog west of Longfordpass Bridge; at the Rock of Cashel, which is a large limestone outcrop, Reboulia hemisphaerica* and Thuidium philibertii* were recorded and Fissidens bambergeri*, collected by Mrs Paton, was new to Ireland; Bryum klinggraeffii* and Pellia neesiana* were found in fen carr by Bansha Wood. P. neesiana, which is probably under-recorded for Ireland, was found frequently during the meeting.

27 August. It was decided to visit the Galtee Mts. again. This time the approach was made from the Glen of Aherlow, on the north side. A forestry road brought the party to within an hour’s climbing distance of L. Muskry (H. 7) although a fallen spruce tree had to be moved to allow cars to use the road. Riccardia palmata and Nowellia curvifolia were found in an old pine wood above the modern plantation. Stream and moorland above this produced Sphenolobus minutus, Solenostoma triste, Sphagnum robustum*, S. quinquefarium, Grimmia alpicola var. rivularis*, Pohlia elongata* and Fontinalis antipyretica var. gracilis*. The slopes above L. Muskry were not as rich in species as the L. Curra slopes. Damp crevices on the vertical cliff to the east of the lake were most rewarding. Calypogeia trichomanis, Cephaloziella pearsonii*, Radula aquilegia, Harpalejeunea ovata, Aphanolejeunea microscopica* and Colura calyptrifolia were found here.

28 August. Sunday was spent in swirling cloud on the ground about Sgilloge Loughs on the west side of the Comeragh Mts. (H. 6). For most of the day visibility was reduced to a few yards on the higher ground. A stop was made for lunch on a ledge above the higher lake and here Anthelia julacea* was found on the very wet rock face. On these slopes above the lake Hygrobiella laxifolia, Lepidozia trichoclados*, Cephaloziella pearsonii*, Rhabdoweisia crenulata, Bryum riparium* and Hygrohypnum ochraceum were also found. Rocks by the lower lake produced Radula lindbergiana*, Porella pinnata and Antitrichia curtipendula, Douinia ovata, Colura calyptrifolia, Sphagnum contortum, Drepanocladus vernicosus and Hygrohypnum eugyrium were collected on the moorland below the lakes. Eurhynchium alopecuroides was found in the stream at the bottom of the valley to the north.

29 August. On Monday the party was temporarily reduced to five. The day was spent in Co. Limerick (H. 8). Anthoceros husnotii*, Reboulia hemisphaerica*, Cololejeunea rosettiana, Tortula papillosa*, Scorpiurium circinatum and Cirriphyllum crassinervium were among the plants found by L. Gur. A card was marked for an old quarry and roadside banks near Pallas Green and here Ptilidium ciliare, Frullania germana and Pterogonium gracile were found.

30 August. This day was spent in Kilkenny (H. 11). Collecting in the grounds of Foulkscourt House near Johnstown and in bog at nearby Derryfadda added forty four species to the county list. Marsh, fen and raised bog at Derryfadda produced a varied flora which included Riccardia palmata*, Pallavicinia lyellii*, Calypogeia sphagnicola*, Lophozia incisa*, Cephalozia connivens*, Sphagnum subsecundum var. auriculatum*, S. capillaceum*, Dicranella schreberana*, D. varia*, Splachnum sphaericum*, Climacium dendroides* and Acrocladium giganteum*.

Returning by the Slieveardagh Hills some mixed oak woodland was noticed on the Tipperary side at a place marked on the ½ in. map as Tower (1051 ft.). Sixty species were recorded for the wood and roadside. Penetrating the wood to about 50 yards from the road, Mr Little found Fissidens celticus* on a damp steeply sloping bank. This was the first Irish record for the species (H. 7).

31 August. The unexpected discovery of F. celticus in such plenty prompted a search for it in East Cork (H. 5). A wooded ravine by the River Douglas, north of Kilworth, soon proved rewarding. F. celticus* was found low down on an 8 ft. vertical clay bank in deep shade, forming a pure growth about 1 ft. wide for the length of the then dry steam. In this wood Lophocolea fragrans, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica* and Hyocomium flagellare* were observed. Gyroweisia tenuis was found on a bridge just north of Kilworth and Ephemerum serratum var. minutissimum* in a nearby stubble field.

In woodland by Castle Cooke, to the east of Kilworth, Fissidens celticus was again found, growing on clay on the path by the Araglin River. Plectocolea hyalina* was found in a roadside quarry nearby.

At Ballynamuddagh, by the Araglin River, Anthoceros husnotii*, Blasia pusilla*, Fossombronia wondraczekii*, Cephaloziella hampeana* and Archidium alternifolium were found on sandy detritus. Hygrohypnum ochraceum* grew on stones in the river.

1 September. This day was spent in the limestone area by the River Nore in Kilkenny (H. 11). On the river bank about 2 miles south-east of Thomastown Reboulia hemisphaerica* was found on a wet shaded limestone rock-face. Fissidens crassipes* was found on stones by the river. Weissia crispa* was found in a sandpit and Pottia davalliana in an adjacent hay-field. Woodland on the east side of the road was here replanted with conifers and had a poor bryophyte flora. The road 1 mile east of Inistioge commands a good view of the Nore, which is tidal at this point. Here some old beech woodland was being cleared. Dumortiera hirsuta*, Lophocolea fragrans, Chiloscyphus polyanthos var. rivularis*, Nowellia curvifolia* and Heterocladium heteropterum var. heteropterum* were recorded for the wood.

From a stubble field near Inistioge Ditrichum cylindricum* and Ephemerum serratum var. minutissimum* were collected.

2 September. The last day of the meeting was spent at Glendine (H. 6). Here the mixed oak woodland is dark and damp. Banks of the Glendine River were covered with Dumortiera, and Jubula was plentiful in the streams. Other noteworthy plants seen were Chiloscyphus polyanthos var. rivularis, Porella pinnata, the Irish endemic Lejeunea holtii, Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia*, Cololejeunea minutissima, Zygodon viridissimus var. stirtonii, Heterocladium heteropterum (both vars.), Cirriphyllum crassinervium and Hypnum cupressiforme var. mamillatum.

During the meeting just over 400 species were seen, many of considerable interest, and a noteworthy contribution was made to the knowledge of the bryophyte flora of five hitherto little-worked vice-counties. There are still a number of areas in Ireland which could be as profitably visited by the Society. Further meetings in these areas will be necessary if the uniform coverage of the country essential for the success of the maps scheme is to be achieved.

D. Synnott


Clonmel, Co. Tipperary