NEW Botany Species for Jersey

NEW Botany Species for Jersey

Written by Alli Singleton

Towards the end of October and setting out in torrential rain, the Societe Jersiase Botany Section headed down to Bouley Bay in search of wildflowers. The challenge being, to find wildflowers still in bloom and submit as many records as possible to the “Wildflower Society”  last day hunt.

We wound our way enthusiastically from the top of the hill to sea level, looking for a splash of botanical colour as we progressed. The habitat of Bouley Bay Hill varies considerably and as a result we found a substantial 84 plants in flower. To find a rare plant is an absolute delight but to find one that has never been recorded in Jersey before is pretty much unheard of.

With a low growing distinctive herb-like quality, and small heads of pale pink flowers the Persicaria nepalensis was initially mistaken as Persicaria thunbergii by one of the many identification apps.  A sample was taken home, studied and keyed out to be Persicaria nepalensis (Nepalese Smartweed, Nepal persicaria, Nepal Knotweed) and has since been accepted as a brand new plant record for Jersey. It is native to eastern Africa, including Madagascar, and parts of Asia. It has been introduced throughout Europe, including Great Britain, North America and upper parts of South America.   

From where did our record originate? Possibly birdseed or a conservation crop, maybe even a garden escapee … will we ever know?

Sarah Maguire