Friday, 5 September 2014

Mullagh More, the Burren, County Clare

Shrubby cinquefoil
Mountain aven (some in flower)
O'Kelly's spotted orchid 1
Irish eyebright
Mountain everlasting
Devil's bit scabious
Grass of Parnassus
Autumn fellwort    
Dark red helleborine (over)
Broad-leaved helleborine (over)  
Golden rod
Harebell
Spindle
Rusty back fern
Wood sage
Burnet rose (a few in flower and one with robins pin cushion)
Ladies bedstraw    
Blue Moor grass
Wall lettuce
Bloody cranesbill
Quaking grass        
Yellow wort
Birds foot trefoil
Northern bedstraw
Sea plantain
Yellow rattle
Purple moor grass

Whilst searching for Father Ted's house, we stumbled across a series of footpaths leading up to the remarkable Mullagh More, which is surely as much a geologists paradise as it is a botanists. At its heart is the amazing lough Gealain, which is part permanent lake and part turlough (i.e a lake fed by groundwater).

The flowers in this area are fantastic, and I was surprised to see so many given that in other areas most seemed to be over. Highlights for me were the shrubby cinquefoil and the mountain avens, a few of which of the latter were in flower, whilst the former seemed in full flower. Another good find was O'Kelly's spotted orchid, a Burren speciality, which some authorities treat as a distinct species, but which is more generally considered as a variety of common spotted orchid. An amazing place, where it's possible to see mountain everlasting growing side by side with sea plantain!






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