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Author Topic: Coire Fiadh  (Read 1598 times)

admin

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Coire Fiadh
« on: July 03, 2015, 09:37:25 AM »
I had  a day on the hills yesterday with my son Gordon up in Coire Fiadh in Glen Clova. Last time I was up there Gordon was about 12, I hauled him up. Today the roles were reversed.


Coire Fiadh


Head Of Coire Fiadh

It's a lovely place, famous for its alpine plants.

There is one plant that grows there and (as far as I know) in only two other places in the UK,  on the screes and cliffs up by Loch Loch below Beinn a' Ghlo in Atholl and on a sea cliff in Kintyre.

The plant is the meadow milk vetch, Oxytropis campestris. It is one of the absolute rarest plants in the UK.

This plant, it seems,  is very specific in its needs. There is one gully where the rock is subtly different from the rock in all other parts of the corrie. Here the rock is a greyish fawn colour, the cliff above and the scree itself. It's not immediately obvious, but once your eye is in  you can see it.

On the cliff above and all down the finer scree in an area of perhaps 25 yards wide by 50 yards long the yellow oxytropis grows, there is masses of it.  Look  20 feet to either side you will find none, it is that clearly demarcated. It is nowhere else.


Oxytropis campestris growing in fine scree along with creeping thyme.


On the cliff with an alpine hawkweed

There are of course many other plants, not all as rare as the oxytropis,  up there. Here are a few.


Geranium sylvaticum


Purple saxifrage well past flowering time (Saxifraga oppositifolia)


Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea) and some alpine hawkweeds

It  was a great day out.

Hoy

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2015, 10:15:11 AM »
Very interesting!

We have Oxytropis campestris in Norway too - and it is rare here also.

The subspecies scotica (the same as you have I suppose) grows only one place in Rogaland (the county where I live) but I have never seen it.
Another subspecies sordida grows in the north. I have not seen that either.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

admin

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2015, 10:24:33 AM »
Hoy, in this area where it grows there is so much of it, it is next to impossible not to tread on it. Yet a few meters to either side there is none. It must have very special requirements.

Hoy

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2015, 10:50:34 AM »
I don't think scotica is that abundant here on neither of the two localities where it grows.

http://www.nasjonalparkstyre.no/svr/Nytt/Skredmjelt-Berre-i-Skottland-og-Hjelmeland/

This site says it has only two localities in Scotland and two in Norway, and that's all!
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 10:52:14 AM by Hoy »
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

johnralphcarpenter

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2015, 11:33:50 AM »
My wife and I walked through Coire Fiadh a couple of years ago en  route to Driesh and Mayar. It is a magical place.
Ralph Carpenter near Ashford, Kent, UK. USDA Zone 8 (9 in a good year)

admin

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015, 11:40:14 AM »
A few more plants seen yesterday:


Lycopodium selago -  fir clubmoss


Saxifraga aizoides - yellow mountain saxifrage


Geranium robertianum  - herb Robert


Alchemilla alpina - alpine ladie's mantle


Thymus polytrichus ssp brittanicus;  in the recent past it has also been known as Thymus drucei, Thymus praecox and Thymus serpyllum  -  which proves again that botanists should be restrained whenever possible.    ;D
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 11:42:52 AM by admin »

alanelliott

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2015, 11:59:29 AM »
Love it up there my absolute favourite place on the planet. Not much flowering last time we were up there though.


http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=13185.msg333662#msg333662
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Tim Ingram

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2015, 12:16:18 PM »
Great place and pictures! Just too far from Kent :( . I must add Coire Fiadh to Borrowian-type tour of Scotland sometime in the future. Very interesting to learn about Oxytropis campestris. Next time anyone makes it down south and might give us a talk?...
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

admin

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 12:26:58 PM »
Back in the days of Tough Alpine Nursery we used to grow and sell masses of a white flowered form of Sax. opp. called "Coire Fiadh". I won  quite a few firsts with it at spring shows.

Anthony Darby

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2015, 04:04:15 AM »
Isn't Gentiana nivalis found up there?
Anthony Darby, Auckland, New Zealand.
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ichristie

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2015, 09:13:54 AM »
Hello, we grow Oxytropus campestre here at Kirriemuir and it is doing very well in the Forfar Botanist garden thanks to Alan Elliott as far as Saxifrage Corrie Fee the most recent name I collected this a white form around 20 years ago at the top right hand ourcrop of rock near the White water Glen Doll and sold many plants when we were in full production and yes it is growing and flowering well at the Forfar garden. Cheers Ian the Christie kind
Ian ...the Christie kind...
from Kirriemuir

admin

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2015, 09:21:55 AM »
Isn't Gentiana nivalis found up there?

It's not in Coire Fiadh, but in Caenlochan a few miles over the hill to the west, although I have never seen it there.

Anthony Darby

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2015, 01:15:28 PM »
I was close.  ;D
Anthony Darby, Auckland, New Zealand.
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ian mcdonald

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2015, 08:05:55 PM »
G. nivalis is on Ben Lawers as well.

ian mcdonald

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Re: Coire Fiadh
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 10:19:58 PM »
Gentiana nivalis.

 


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