Saturday, September 22, 2012

Yellow Bartsia Makes an Appearance

Yellow Bartsia, Parentucellia viscosa
In the past, the hemiparasitic Yellow Bartsia (Parentucellia viscosa) was a very common member of the flora of damp pastures through out south west Ireland (1). Unfortunately the prectice of draining such paludal habitats throughout the 20th century led to a dramatic reduction in its numbers in the Cork and Kerry and it can now only be found with any sort of frequency on the islands of Roaringwater Bay off Cork's west coast.
Yellow Bartsia, Parentucellia viscosa
All of which means I was very surprised and delighted to see two plants at a disused quarry just 17 km from Cork city center, the same quarry mentioned in my previous post on the Red Veined Darter. The plants were at the side of what was once the road leading to the main quarry, their wonderful cascade of yellow flowers immediately standing out from the surrounding scrub. The discovery of this scarce native in such an undisturbed demonstrates how our ever decreasing biodiversity could be maintained by the thoughtful management of our surroundings.

  1. O'Mahony, 2009. Wildflowers of Cork City and County pp. 97-99

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