Monday, 8 September 2014

A Lusitanian plant on the Dingle Peninsula, Kerry

This is one of the most interesting and exciting plants we found on the holiday. It's a butterwort, but the leaves are very big (at least 10cm rosette diameter) and quite pale. From the size of the leaves alone, I think that it has to be large-flowered butterwort, which I've seen before in the Pyrenees but which in the British Isles grows only in South West Ireland, and mainly in Kerry, where it's not uncommon in the correct habitat. This individual was growing at the side of the road on a high mountain pass just above Dingle town.

However, it's main interest is that it belongs to a unique group of plants known as the Lusitanian flora. This is a group of Mediterranean plants native to Ireland but mainly absent from Britain that come originally from the Iberian Peninsula. I've known about the Lusitanian flora for many years, and it was a real thrill to actually find one for myself!

Dingle Peninsula.

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