Friday, 21 February 2020

Status and distribution - Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) on Hutton Roof



Some recent Blogs with quick links:- 

Crossbills (chicks in late December etc)




I have posted here some of my notes and photos pertaining to one of my favourite well studied plants ANGULAR SOLOMON's SEAL (so far recorded 90 populations on its home turf - Hutton Roof)

Hutton Roof Crags was listed No. 193 of the original Rothschild Nature Reserves
And here is how it was listed on the original document:
"A piece of typical primeval Country = Limestone formation"
A locality for 'Lastrea rigida' (Rigid Buckler Fern) and 'Polygonatum odoratum' (Angular Solomon's Seal).  Hutton Roof Crags those days was owned by Lady Henry Cavendish Bentinck of Underlay Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale (Earl of Lonsdale, Whitehaven Castle, Cumberland).
***
Some later notes more recently added by Cumbria Wildlife Trust:


An area in Westmorland (now Cumbria) considered by the SPNR to be a "typical limestone formation" and of geological and botanical significance.  It was the only limestone pavement site on Rothschild's list and the SPNR noted it as a location for specialist plants such as Angular Solomon's Seal and Rigid Buckler Fern.  Like other limestone pavement sites it has been damaged by some removal of stone but it is now protected as a nature reserve managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust, and still contains some of the finest areas of limestone pavement in Britain.  Today Hutton Roof Crags holds SSSI status. 

(I have so far found 90 small populations of Angular Solomon's Seal on the Hutton Roof Complex and these can range in size from small one foot linear to around 8ft x 3ft linear populations)


Please note all photographs shown here were taken by me and are from specimens within the area of Hutton Roof. 

Emergence of shoots

 Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) young shoots at 3-4" 
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) Hutton Roof 1st May 2019

Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) with flowers, Gymnocarpium robertianum (Limestone fern) and ASS shoots and Dryopteris sub-montana (Rigid Bucker Fern)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) Hutton Roof 1st May 2019



 Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: 4th May 2018 Lancelot Clark Storth, Hutton Roof


Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) Click over to enlarge

Photo: 6th May 2018 Lancelot Clark Storth, Hutton Roof



Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) Gymnocarpium robertianum (Limestone fern) and ASS shoots and Dryopteris sub-montana (Rigid Bucker Fern)
In situ photo of the general area
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) Hutton Roof 1st May 2019

Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: 25th April 2019 Lancelot Clark Storth, Hutton Roof
almost two weeks in front of 2018 showing


Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: 10th May 2018 Lancelot Clark Storth, Hutton Roof



Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) click over to enlarge
Rare photo showing the unravelling of flowers from a leaf cocoon
Photo: Hutton Roof Common on 20th May 2019


 Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) already with rigid flowers 
which will collapse to a dangling posture over the next week or so
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) Hutton Roof 1st May 2019

Above it shows the very first stage of flowering, were the flowers are rigid and pointing outwards, yet within a week or so the flowers will drop down into their recognised drooping posture 



Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) Click over to enlarge

This is a beautiful mature plant that lies within Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT), Hutton Roof, Cumbria and has you can
see it had a exceptional showing during 2017 (22nd May). Each year shortly after
flowering the plant is eaten away by some sort

of insect and all you eventually see is a skeleton frame.



21st May 2019
Clawthorpe Fell late pm to check out the Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal)

Checking out the Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) and right on cue the four populations on this fell are at their best right now, and all bearing lovely drooping singular flowers like you would expect. Population 4 has probably got the most in flower yield and seems happy in it's tight grike habitat.  Probably this plant is one of the most photogenic we have on this fell. All four populations on this fell show the 'normal' smaller odoratum leaf shape typical and unique to this member of the polygonatum family, which is a smaller leaf which shows a much lighter shade on the underside of the leaf in comparison to the topside.  Also in these photos I have managed to capture the dual colour you get on the topside of the leaf which is occasionally noticed with a sheen of blue shadowing over the green. 


Polygonatum odoratum - (Angular Solomon's Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Fell No.4 population on 21st May 2019

shows the blue sheen over the green 
(not always noticed immediately, the light conditions have to be just right to see the blue eg: anytime but best at the end of the day)



Polygonatum odoratum - (Angular Solomon's Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Fell No.4 population on 21st May 2019

shows the light underside of the leaf which shows with comparison to the upperside. 
again preferable you need the late part of the day

Polygonatum odoratum - (Angular Solomon's Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Fell No.4 population on 21st May 2019


This photo shows a good range of the typical variant leaf shapes you can expect but probably the most recognised
 and familiar associated shape with the 'odoratum' 
is the 'dolphin' head shape (see top left in this photo) with a blunt snout and sloping with disproportionate sides 



Polygonatum odoratum - (Angular Solomon's Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Fell No.4 population on 21st May 2019


(below: BERRY STAGE 1) = 24th May to early June

The photo below depicts the stage where the flower is disappearing and the green berry fruit is taking over. 

Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) - Click over to enlarge
Photo: 24th May 2017 - Clawthorpe Fell

If you look at the line of flowers to the top left it shows the one on the right side having already exposed it green berry.


 Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal)
Showing a very early transformation from flower to green berry
Photo: Dalton Crags on 7th June 2019



(below: BERRY STAGE 2) = 21st June 


Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) Click over to enlarge

This is yet another fabulous plant which also lies in Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) but on a
alternative pavement. (photo taken 21st June 2018)


(below: BERRY STAGE 3) = 24th July


Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) Click over to enlarge

This is yet another photo of the same plant as above but taken later in the year on 24th July 2018
The photo depicts the stage where the flower has now turned from a green berry to a more mature blue berry colour.

Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) at top of photo and
Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) to bottom of photo.
Photo: 22nd May 2017

It was this particular species Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) that was jointly (along with Dryopteris submontana)  responsible for giving Hutton Roof it's SSSI status (Site of Special Scientific Interest) which Hutton Roof still holds today.

For several years I have recorded this species from wherever I have seen it on Hutton Roof.  Although this plant is 'nationally scarce' yet it is widespread on HR and can be seen on most pavements.  I have so far recorded 90 separate locations throughout which may range from a couple of foot area to some being about 4 metres in area. All have been individually recorded with their GPS, together with the date found, and details of size of plant area and general notes. 

Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) Click over to enlarge

This is a nice plant which looks well especially in this limestone frame. It always seems to do well and is spreading. It is in part sheltered within a shallow gryke. The plant is on Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT)


Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) - Click over to enlarge
Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) Hutton Roof on 16th May 2019

Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) - Click over to enlarge
Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) Hutton Roof on 16th May 2019

Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) - Click over to enlarge
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT), Hutton Roof - 1st May 2019 

This is a new single plant of a newly record population start.  But I am showing this particular photo because I think it shows a good profile of similarity to the general shape of the leaf in odoratum.


 Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Newbiggin Crags, Farleton, Hutton Roof, 28th May 2019

 Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Newbiggin Crags, Farleton, Hutton Roof 28th May 2019


Decided to check out some nearby Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) which was showing at it's very best.  The population is about 2 metre.


Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Fell - May 2018
Credit: Simon Harrop

The photo above and below show the lighting at its best with cameraman Simon
along with me holding the "white dish screen" and what a difference, more like
how it should look!!

Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Fell - May 2018
Credit: Simon Harrop

Odoratum being attacked by beetle
20th June 2019 - Lancelot Clark Storth


I checked on some of our regular Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal), of interest is how the plants get attacked every year without fail a beetle munches into it and you can see the holes it leaves, but eventually it will take it down to a skeleton or frame just like "filigree".  Here are a couple of photos to show you how it starts off....

 Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) on 20th June 2019


  Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal)
Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) on 20th June 2019


 Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal)

Photo: Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) on 20th June 2019

Similar Polygonatum species which can easily create confusion 

Polygonatum multiflorum (it is a native plant familiarly known as "Solomon's Seal",  but also and more widely known to also be a Garden escape)

and 

Polygonatum x hybridum (Garden Solomon's Seal which is the hybrid with Angular Solomons Seal

  Polygonatum multiflorum - (Solomon's Seal) click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Road near large chestnut tree 24th April 2019

  Polygonatum multiflorum - (Solomon's Seal) click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Road near large chestnut tree 24th April 2019


  Polygonatum multiflorum - (Solomon's Seal) click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Road near large chestnut tree 24th April 2019
Please note that "multiflorum" can regularly have 3 drooping white flowers as shown in this photo. Whereby "odoratum" will only ever have 1 to 2 drooping white flowers.


 Polygonatum multiflorum - (Solomon's Seal) click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Road near large chestnut tree 24th April 2019

 Polygonatum multiflorum - (Solomon's Seal) click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Road near large chestnut tree 9th May 2018

 Polygonatum multiflorum - (Solomon's Seal) click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Road near large chestnut tree 9th May 2018

Polygonatum multiflorum - (Solomon's Seal) click over to enlarge
Photo: Clawthorpe Road near large chestnut tree 9th May 2018

The multiflorum is a lot larger in appearance than odoratum and spreads very easily, it also bears drooping flowers of sometimes 3 flowers were with odoratum you will usually only get a single or a double flower.


The photo above shows you the comparisons on 26th April 2019 were the odoratum (Angular) is on the left whereby the much larger cultivated version shown on the right multiflorum (Solomon's) is much larger and comes out 3 to 4 weeks earlier than odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal)


Polygonatum multiflorum Solomon's Seal (Click over to enlarge)
This shows the totally different profile of the leaf in comparison to Odoratum
much wider and longer and a deeper green colour
Photo: Clawthorpe, Burton In Kendal 14th May 2019


Shows the difference in leaf colour (shade of green) and profile between top Polygonatum multiflorum (Solomons Seal) and on the bottom shows Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal)

Polygonatum multiflorum Solomon's Seal (Click over to enlarge)
This shows the drooping flowers of (Solomon's Seal), sometimes in three's, which you
would never get in the P. odoratum - (Angular Solomon's Seal) (which only ever have 1 or sometimes 2 white drooping flowers, never 3)
Photo: Clawthorpe, Burton In Kendal 14th May 2019