Monday, 2 September 2019

Snippets of Wealth - Monday 2nd September 2019 - Farleton Fell/Newbiggin - Gentianella amarella (Autumn Gentian)

Gentianella Amarella (Autumn Gentian) - Click over
Photo: Farleton Fell - Hutton Roof 2nd September 2019

Well here we are a little beauty, a good strong large plant but it remained closed today and you could not blame it! with it being largely overcast with frequent bouts of heavy showers. But it was not the weather that was the problem it was purely down to the fact that ths specimen is the only one I have been able to find on all the Hutton Roof "amarella" sites, I have now checked all of the sites not once but twice and thats the final outcome for 2019 - One plant.

We at Hutton Roof are not alone on this, there have been other sites in the South Lakes suffering the same situation. We had very few last year which you could probably have counted on two hands maybe.  Thats not many when you consider on all these sites we would in normal years probably have in the region of a thousand specimens, so what's gone wrong.

Well I am sure it's all down to rainfall, or maybe I should say the lack of it! and it's history goes back to the Spring and early Summer of 2018 when we had the prolonged heatwave which lasted days on end, and the ground was parched and plants were either dying off prematurely or had not come through at all on account of this and sadly so far the amarella have not been able to recover from this.

After saying this there are some sites in the North West who have done OK with their Gentians and all appears normal.  It does cross my mind that all the sites I know of which have suffered the problems are all sites which are on carboniferous limestone whereby the ones that have done OK are acid soils and water flush areas.

Another situation I am trying to work out is, although we have not got our amarellas (Autumn Gentians) we have still been very fortunate to have its cousin the campestris (Field Gentian) and these have come through this year in their hundreds, even at a site which we have which would in normal years bear both species growing side by side of one another. From this you would assume that if one of the gentian species did OK why not both, or if one of the gentian species never came through OK why not both.

I might not have found the gentians, but checked out lots of new sites which just look the ticket! maybe in a year or two we get an abundance just like we had in 2016


Birds reported today: Swallows 3,1 = 4 South, A pair of Meadow Pipits East, large roving 70 party of Linnet W (thought to be foraging), 4xWheatear on walls.
Fungi: Common Ink Cap, Golden Waxy Cap.