This Blog covers nature sightings and related news in the Calderdale area.
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Monday, 17 February 2014

A couple of interesting plant sightings

Had a walk around Cromwell Wood and Marshall's yards yesterday.
Finally found the Witches Butter Fungus with its parasitic fungus attached that Alison G and Peachysteve discovered in Calderdale. (See Mycology Blog .)

We also found a self generated Japanese Holly Fern Cyrtomium falcatum at the base of a drystone wall at Southowrham; a good-sized plant a few years old. I've seen this happen once before at Todmorden, when a small plant appeared in wall mortar but didn't survive when transplanted. It is known for "going wild"
in Europe and America.

Something I've never seen is Juniper berries ripen in Calderdale (These are at Barkisland.). There's no wild Juniper here, but many in gardens. The pictures show ripe and unripe berries which I assume will ripen next year if we get another hot period as last year. I've often seen the green berries before, but never the shiny black ones. The nearest wild junipers I've seen are on the Old Man of Coniston Fell in the Lake District.


  1. I've done a little research on the Holly fern. It seems there are two species which are often confused. Our specimen is more likely Cyrtomium fortunei but it's hard to be sure

  2. Thanks Steve. I'll look into it further.

  3. I think it's C.falcatum if document by BSBI Hampshire recorder on can be relied on.
    C.falcatum 3 - 11 pairs pinnae, entire or shortly toothed.Glossy on top.
    C.fortunei 12 - 26 pairs
    usually toothed all the way to the apex. Dull on top.
    Only one record in Hampshire - C.falcatum in Portsmouth dockyard.
    Common names Japanese Holly Fern and
    Fortune's Holly Fern.

  4. Haha, it was his description that took me there
    Notes: I've found within my own garden that you can't reliably separate young plants on numbers of pinnae. But - C. falcatum is much glossier, and usually has quite strong serrate toothing (exaggerated in some cultivars). - Martin Rand BSBI Recorder, South Hants (VC11).

    Looks like a good fern key. Thanks

  5. Let me know when you are starting the Gin plant

  6. OK Michael :-) You bring the Tonic.

  7. Maggie Rothwell, our Fern Recorder, remembers being blase' about it around Cambridge where they assumed it spread from the botanical gardens, but has not heard of it self-sporing north of there.
    Maggie is unfortunately now more or less house-bound.Best wishes, Maggie.