Friday, 4 July 2014

The Flowers of Bealach Ruadh

Bealach Ruadh is a small glen which is followed by the path from Achosnich school house to Achnaha.  We walked it the other day and enjoyed a wealth of wildflowers.  The ground was littered with lousewort, which seems to have had an exceptional year, and the damp spots along the track hosted common butterwort, but this little mossy mound caught our attention as the bird's foot trefoil had colonised the moss was in full flower.

We found more of these here than we've found on other recent walks.  It's a fragrant orchid which, thanks to a comment in a recent post from KarryH, we now know has been re-classified heath fragrant orchid (Gymnadenia borealis).  It's a species which doesn't seem to be doing well this year.

I think this is mountain everlasting, a common flower on West Ardnamurchan which has very attractive, downy leaves, and flowers on long stems.  Looking it up, we discovered (see here) that each stem carries flowers of either male or female sex, the male being like daisies while the females are like small brushes.  To be honest, we couldn't see this.

The highlight of the flowers on this walk was finding this rose, which we think is a burnet rose, Rosa pimpinellifolia, a species we've not come across before.  It was just coming into flower, with only one bloom out but plenty of buds.  It's national distribution is shown here.

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