I.J. Bennallick, C.N. French & R.E. Parslow

The authors are indebted to Rosaline Murphy and the detailed work that she put into the account of vascular plants for the first edition of the Red Data Book (Spalding (Ed.), 1997). We recommend that these accounts be referred to for the wealth of information included; some of that information has been incorporated in the following accounts. Since 1997 much has changed, with one national Red Data Book (Wigginton (Ed.), 1999) and a new Red List (Cheffings & Farrell (Eds.), 2005), published, increasing the number of species that qualify for inclusion into this Red Data Book. Because of this, the authors have endeavoured to keep the following species accounts brief; more detailed accounts will be included in the Rare Plant Register for Cornwall, and one for the Isles of Scilly (both in preparation, to be published in 2009).

Cornwall is one of the most intensively botanised regions in Britain, and thanks to successive generations of volunteers there are now 1,160,000 vascular plant records computerised in the Erica for Windows database, used by both of the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) recorders for Cornwall. Most of these records are at a tetrad or better resolution, and with the publication of the tetrad atlas the Flora of Cornwall (French, Murphy & Atkinson, 1999), the distribution of rare and scarce species of Cornwall could be shown using maps. Since 1999, recorders have been recording to at least a 1km x 1km square, with the majority at better resolution than that. Cornwall is now being systematically re-surveyed in order to publish the next Flora of Cornwall (aiming to publish in 2012). This survey is more intensive than previous with each 1km square targeted and GPS devices used to fix grid references for each species list. The resulting maps leads to a better understanding of a species within its environment, and over time changes in a species distribution can be better demonstrated.

The Isles of Scilly has not been quite as well served as Cornwall with recorders. Active recording had virtually ceased after Lousley published his Flora in 1971 until the mid 1980s when the current recorder started a database for the islands. In the past decade the number of active recorders visiting the Isles of Scilly has greatly increased and there are now c. 60,000 plant records held on a MapMate database. Where possible the Scilly recording has mostly been at 1km square or better. Tetrad recording having been found useless for mapping distribution on small islands – too often the dots would be in the sea!

In the past rarity status has been traditionally based solely on presence in one to a hundred 10km x 10km squares (a hectad): Nationally Rare species were present in one to fifteen hectads and Nationally Scarce present in sixteen to one hundred hectads. Nationally Scarce species were assessed in Scarce Plants in Britain (Stewart, Pearman & Preston (Eds.), 1994) and with the most recent Red Data Book for Vascular Plants (Wigginton (Ed.), 1999) both followed the traditional approach to rarity. In 2005 a new Red List of Vascular Plants was published (Cheffings & Farrell (Eds.), 2005). This had a new approach of including threat categories to both native and archaeophyte (an alien species known or suspected to have been introduced before AD 1500) species of Great Britain, using IUCN criteria, and combining with rarity. Despite a detailed explanation of the reasoning behind the decisions of red-listing a species in Cheffings & Farrell (Eds.), (2005), it is no longer clear what a Red Data Book plant means and for conservation organisations and others, confusion reigns.

For example, some species previously classified as Nationally Rare or Nationally Scarce were assessed in the new Red List as of Least Concern even though geographically these are still Nationally Rare or Nationally Scarce. These include the Nationally Rare (though not considered threatened in the new Red List) Physospermum cornubiense, a species of very restricted range, and probably declining, which in Great Britain is confined to Cornwall; and the Nationally Scarce, endemic, Fumaria occidentalis, for which Great Britain has international responsibility (Cheffings & Farrell (Eds.), 2005). Some endemic hybrids are included and others not, such as the ones present in Cornwall, e.g. Erica x williamsii. One hybrid xAsplenophyllitis jacksonii, omitted from the Red List, has since been lost (almost as soon as it was found) from its only known site in Great Britain; perhaps if it had been red listed it may have been better protected. New natives, such as Serapias parviflora, restricted to a single site in East Cornwall since 1989 failed to be red-listed, as under criteria a new native has to be present for 25 years before inclusion. The discovery of Pancratium maritimum growing on dunes at Marazion (SW53) in 2005, which may have colonised from a native source in Brittany, may also prove to be native, but without a provisional red-listing these potentially important additions to the British Flora are not protected. Some species such as Polycarpon tetraphyllum, which is considered native at one site in Cornwall, is flagged as of least concern, and Echium plantagineum, long considered as native in West Cornwall, has been parked (awaiting decision for inclusion) in the Red List. Hopefully some of the issues raised will be addressed in upcoming revisions.

Therefore, for the inclusion of species in this Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Cheffings & Farrell (Eds.), (2005), has been treated as complementary to Wigginton (Ed.), (1999) and Stewart, et al., (Eds.) (1994). Since the publication of the Scarce Plants in Britain in 1994 and the Red Data Book for Vascular Plants in 1999, some of the Nationally Scarce or Nationally Rare species may not now (in 2009) strictly be classified as either, due to increased recording resulting in additional sites and hectads.


Lycopodiella inundata Marsh Clubmoss

Isoetes echinospora Spring Quillwort

Isoetes histrix Land Quillwort

Equisetum variegatum Variegated Horsetail

Equisetum x willmotii

Ophioglossum azoricum Small Adder's-tongue

Ophioglossum lusitanicum Least Adder's-tongue

Adiantum capillus-veneris Maidenhair Fern

Pilularia globulifera Pillwort

Hymenophyllum wilsonii Wilson's Filmy-fern

Trichomanes speciosum Killarney Fern

Thelypteris palustris Marsh Fern

Asplenium obovatum subsp. lanceolatum Lanceolate Spleenwort

Cystopteris diaphana Diaphanous Bladder-fern

Juniperus communis subsp. hemisphaerica Cliff Juniper

Aconitum napellus Monk's-hood

Ranunculus tripartitus Three-lobed Crowfoot

Meconopsis cambrica Welsh Poppy

Papaver argemone Prickly Poppy

Fumaria densiflora Dense-flowered Fumitory

Fumaria muralis subsp. neglecta

Fumaria occidentalis Western Ramping-fumitory

Fumaria purpurea Purple Ramping-fumitory

Fumaria reuteri Martin's Ramping-fumitory

Atriplex longipes Long-stalked Orache

Chenopodium bonus-henricus Good-King-Henry

Chenopodium glaucum Oak-leaved Goosefoot

Chenopodium murale Nettle-leaved Goosefoot

Salsola kali subsp. kali Prickly Saltwort

Corrigiola litoralis Strapwort

Dianthus armeria Deptford Pink

Herniaria ciliolata Ciliate Rupturewort

Illecebrum verticillatum Coral-necklace

Minuartia verna Spring Sandwort

Polycarpon tetraphyllum Four-leaved Allseed

Scleranthus annuus subsp. annuus Annual Knawel

Silene gallica var. anglica Small-flowered Catchfly

Silene noctiflora Night-flowering Catchfly

Spergula arvensis Corn Spurrey

Spergularia bocconei Greek Sea-spurrey

Polygonum maritimum Sea Knotgrass

Rumex rupestris Shore Dock

Limonium loganicum Rock Sea-lavender

Limonium procerum subsp. procerum

Elatine hexandra Six-stamened Waterwort

Hypericum linariifolium Toadflax-leaved St John's-wort

Hypericum montanum Pale St John's-wort

Hypericum undulatum Wavy St John's-wort

Lavatera cretica Cretan Mallow

Viola canina subsp. canina Heath Violet

Viola kitaibeliana Dwarf Pansy

Viola lactea Pale Heath-violet

Viola tricolor Wild Pansy

Brassica oleracea var. oleracea Wild Cabbage

Draba muralis Wall Whitlowgrass

Matthiola incana Hoary Stock

Rorippa islandica Northern Yellow-cress

Teesdalia nudicaulis Shepherd's Cress

Erica ciliaris Dorset Heath

Erica vagans Cornish Heath

Monotropa hypopitys Yellow Bird's-nest

Anagallis minima Chaffweed

Crassula tillaea Mossy Stonecrop

Pyrus cordata Plymouth Pear

Sorbus devoniensis Broad-leaved Whitebeam

Cytisus scoparius subsp. maritimus Prostrate Broom

Genista anglica Petty Whin

Genista pilosa Hairy Greenweed

Lathyrus japonicus subsp. maritimus Sea Pea

Lotus angustissimus Slender Bird's-foot-trefoil

Lotus subbiflorus Hairy Bird's-foot-trefoil

Medicago polymorpha Hairy Medick

Medicago sativa subsp. falcata Sickle Medick

Ornithopus pinnatus Orange Bird's-foot

Trifolium bocconei Twin-flowered Clover

Trifolium glomeratum Clustered Clover

Trifolium incarnatum subsp. molinerii Long-headed Clover

Trifolium occidentale Western Clover

Trifolium strictum Upright Clover

Trifolium suffocatum Suffocated Clover

Vicia bithynica Bithynian Vetch

Vicia lutea Yellow-vetch

Vicia orobus Wood Bitter-vetch

Oenothera stricta Fragrant Evening-primrose

Euphorbia exigua Dwarf Spurge

Euphorbia hyberna Irish Spurge

Euphorbia portlandica Portland Spurge

Radiola linoides Allseed

Erodium moschatum Musk Stork's-bill

Geranium purpureum subsp. purpureum Little-Robin

Eryngium campestre Field Eryngo

Oenanthe fistulosa Tubular Water-dropwort

Physospermum cornubiense Cornish Bladderseed

Scandix pecten-veneris Shepherd's-needle

Centaurium scilloides Perennial Centaury

Cicendia filiformis Yellow Centaury

Gentianella anglica Early Gentian

Gentianella campestris Field Gentian

Hyoscyamus niger Henbane

Cuscuta epithymum Common Dodder

Cynoglossum officinale Hound's-tongue

Echium plantagineum Purple Viper's-bugloss

Galeopsis angustifolia Narrow-leaved Hemp-nettle

Galeopsis speciosa Large-flowered Hemp-nettle

Melittis melissophyllum Bastard Balm

Mentha pulegium Pennyroyal

Stachys arvensis Field Woundwort

Teucrium chamaedrys Wall Germander

Euphrasia anglica

Euphrasia vigursii Vigur's Eyebright

Linaria supina Prostrate Toadflax

Misopates orontium Lesser Snapdragon

Scrophularia scorodonia Balm-leaved Figwort

Sibthorpia europaea Cornish Moneywort

Verbascum virgatum Twiggy Mullein

Orobanche alba Thyme Broomrape

Orobanche hederae Ivy Broomrape

Orobanche rapum-genistae Greater Broomrape

Lobelia urens Heath Lobelia

Wahlenbergia hederacea Ivy-leaved Bellflower

Galium parisiense Wall Bedstraw

Valerianella dentata Narrow-fruited Cornsalad

Valerianella eriocarpa Hairy-fruited Cornsalad

Valerianella rimosa Broad-fruited Cornsalad

Anthemis arvensis Corn Chamomile

Anthemis cotula Stinking Chamomile

Centaurea cyanus Cornflower

Chamaemelum nobile Chamomile

Chrysanthemum segetum Corn Marigold

Filago pyramidata Broad-leaved Cudweed

Filago vulgaris Common Cudweed

Gnaphalium sylvaticum Heath Cudweed

Hypochaeris maculata Spotted Cat's-ear

Inula crithmoides Golden-samphire

Otanthus maritimus Cottonweed

Baldellia ranunculoides Lesser Water-plantain

Potamogeton trichoides Hairlike Pondweed

Zostera marina Eelgrass

Zostera noltei Dwarf Eelgrass

Arum italicum subsp. neglectum Late Cuckoo Pint

Juncus acutus Sharp Rush

Juncus capitatus Dwarf Rush

Juncus compressus Round-fruited Rush

Juncus pygmaeus Pigmy Rush

Blysmus compressus Flat-sedge

Carex divisa Divided Sedge

Carex montana Soft-leaved Sedge

Carex punctata Dotted Sedge

Cyperus longus Galingale

Schoenoplectus triqueter Triangular Club-rush

Schoenoplectus x kuekenthalianus

Alopecurus bulbosus Bulbous Foxtail

Cynodon dactylon Bermuda-grass

Deschampsia setacea Bog Hair-grass

Festuca arenaria Rush-leaved Fescue

Gastridium ventricosum Nit-grass

Lolium temulentum Darnel

Poa bulbosa Bulbous Meadow-grass

Poa infirma Early Meadow-grass

Puccinellia fasciculata Borrer's Saltmarsh-grass

Puccinellia rupestris Stiff Saltmarsh-grass

Vulpia fasciculata Dune Fescue

Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum Wild Leek

Allium ampeloprasum var. babingtonii Babington's Leek

Allium schoenoprasum Chives

Asparagus prostratus Sea Asparagus

Scilla autumnalis Autumnal Squill

Romulea columnae Sand Crocus

Anacamptis morio Green-winged Orchid

Coeloglossum viride Frog Orchid

Hammarbya paludosa Bog Orchid

Neottia nidus-avis Bird's-nest Orchid

Platanthera bifolia Lesser Butterfly-orchid

Platanthera chlorantha Greater Butterfly-orchid

Spiranthes spiralis Autumn Lady's-tresses

Table 1. Native or Archaeophyte species that are Cornwall Rare (in three or less sites).

Alchemilla filicaulis subsp. vestita

Althaea hirsuta

Antennaria dioica

Atriplex littoralis

Bidens cernua

Botrychium lunaria

Bromus hordeaceus subsp. thominei

Bromus pseudosecalinus

Bromus secalinus

Calamagrostis epigejos

Campanula rotundifolia

Carex acutiformis

Carex disticha

Carex pseudocyperus

Catabrosa aquatica

Cirsium acaule

Cladium mariscus

Crepis biennis

Cystopteris fragilis

Dactylorhiza fuchsii var. cornubiensis

Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. coccinea

Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. pulchella

Dryopteris affinis subsp. cambrensis

Eleocharis acicularis

Epipactis palustris

Equisetum sylvaticum

Erigeron acer

Euphrasia arctica subsp. borealis

Festuca longifolia

Glyceria maxima

Glyceria notata

Gymnadenia densiflora

Gymnocarpium dryopteris

Hordeum secalinum

Hypericum hirsutum

Lepidium campestre

Leymus arenarius

Limonium britannicum subsp. britannicum

Lotus glaber

Malva neglecta

Nepeta cataria

Oenanthe pimpinelloides

Papaver dubium subsp. lecoqii

Pinguicula vulgaris

Plantago media

Poa angustifolia

Polygonum rurivagum

Potamogeton pectinatus

Potamogeton perfoliatus

Puccinellia distans

Ranunculus baudotii

Rorippa microphylla

Rosa tomentosa

Rumex acetosa subsp. biformis

Salicornia ramosissima

Salix triandra

Schoenoplectus lacustris

Serapias parviflora

Typha angustifolia

Utricularia vulgaris

Vaccinium oxycoccos

Veronica anagallis-aquatica

Vicia lathyroides

Vicia parviflora

Vicia sylvatica

Table 2. Native or Archaeophyte species that are Cornwall Scarce (in four to ten sites).

Alopecurus myosuroides

Arabis hirsuta

Arenaria serpyllifolia subsp. leptoclados

Artemisia absinthium

Berula erecta

Bidens tripartita

Briza media

Bromopsis erecta

Bromus hordeaceus subsp. ferronii

Bromus racemosus

Carex curta

Carex pallescens

Carex vesicaria

Carex viridula subsp. viridula

Ceratophyllum demersum

Chenopodium ficifolium

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Dactylorhiza incarnata subsp. incarnata

Eleocharis quinqueflora

Eleocharis uniglumis

Gentianella amarella

Geranium pusillum

Geum rivale

Gymnadenia borealis

Huperzia selago

Hypericum maculatum subsp. obtusiusculum

Juncus ambiguus

Lathyrus nissolia

Legousia hybrida

Lemna trisulca

Mespilus germanica

Montia fontana subsp. amporitana

Myriophyllum spicatum

Nuphar lutea

Oenanthe lachenalii

Ophioglossum vulgatum

Ophrys apifera

Parapholis strigosa

Picris hieracioides subsp. hieracioides

Pimpinella major

Poa compressa

Potamogeton pusillus

Ranunculus auricomus

Ranunculus lingua

Ranunculus trichophyllus

Rosa micrantha

Rosa stylosa

Rubus caesius

Rumex hydrolapathum

Ruppia maritima

Sagina nodosa

Trifolium fragiferum

Utricularia australis

Utricularia minor

Veronica catenata

Viola reichenbachiana

Viscum album

Zannichellia palustris

Table 3. Native or Archaeophyte species that are Cornwall Local (in eleven to twenty sites).

Anchusa arvensis

Anthriscus caucalis

Apium inundatum

Arctium lappa

Atriplex laciniata

Bromus commutatus

Carum verticillatum

Cerastium semidecandrum

Clinopodium vulgare

Epilobium roseum

Equisetum telmateia

Euphrasia micrantha

Filipendula vulgaris

Glaucium flavum

Helictotrichon pubescens

Leontodon hispidus

Lithospermum officinale

Luzula forsteri

Mercurialis annua

Montia fontana subsp. chondrosperma

Myosotis scorpioides

Orobanche minor var. maritima

Papaver hybridum

Persicaria amphibia

Phleum arenarium

Polypodium cambricum

Polystichum aculeatum

Rhynchospora alba

Rorippa palustris

Rorippa sylvestris

Salix alba

Salix fragilis

Saxifraga tridactylites

Scirpus sylvaticus

Sedum telephium subsp. fabaria

Stellaria pallida

Torilis nodosa

Triglochin palustre

Viola hirta

Table 4. Species considered as extinct in Cornwall.

Adonis annua

Anagallis arvensis subsp. foemina

Apera spica-venti

Bupleurum rotundifolium

Camelina sativa

Carduus crispus subsp. multiflorus

Carex dioica

Carex divulsa subsp. leersii

Carum carvi

Caucalis platycarpos

Centaurea calcitrapa

Centaurium scilloides

Chenopodium urbicum

Chenopodium vulvaria

Clinopodium acinos

Corrigiola litoralis

Drosera anglica

Euphorbia peplis

Euphorbia platyphyllos

Fumaria parviflora

Galeopsis angustifolia

Galium pumilum

Geranium purpureum subsp. forsteri

Gnaphalium sylvaticum

Hypochaeris glabra

Isatis tinctoria

Limosella aquatica

Lithospermum arvense

Lycopodium clavatum

Lythrum hyssopifolia

Marrubium vulgare

Matthiola sinuata

Melica nutans

Montia fontana subsp. variabilis

Myosurus minimus

Ophrys sphegodes

Otanthus maritimus

Phegopteris connectilis

Potentilla argentea

Ranunculus arvensis

Rorippa amphibia

Ruppia cirrhosa

Schoenoplectus triqueter

Scleranthus annuus subsp. polycarpos

Sium latifolium

Torilis arvensis

Trifolium squamosum

Wolffia arrhiza

Table 5. Nationally Rare, Scarce or Threatened, native or archaeophyte species, that have been introduced and/or become established in Cornwall.

Allium sphaerocephalon

Althaea officinalis

Alyssum alyssoides

Buxus sempervirens

Colchicum autumnale

Dianthus deltoides

Euphorbia serrulata

Fritillaria meleagris

Gaudinia fragilis

Helleborus foetidus

Hippophae rhamnoides

Hordeum marinum

Hydrocharis morsus-ranae

Iberis amara

Lactuca saligna

Lathyrus aphaca

Lepidium latifolium

Marrubium vulgare

Mibora minima

Minuartia hybrida

Muscari neglectum

Nymphoides peltata

Phyteuma spicatum

Pinus sylvestris

Polypogon monspeliensis

Potentilla fruticosa

Sedum forsterianum

Silene conica

Silene nutans

Thlaspi perfoliatum

Tilia platyphyllos

Verbascum lychnitis

Verbascum pulverulentum

Table 6. Species that are rare in the Isles of Scilly.

Alopecurus myosuroides

Arenaria serpyllifolia

Ballota nigra

Blechnum spicant

Callitriche obtusangula

Callitriche brutia

Caltha palustris

Carex laevigata

Carex otrubae

Carex paniculata

Carex remota

Carex riparia

Carex sylvatica

Carex viridula subsp. oedocarpa

Chamerion angustifolium (casual?)

Chenopodium hybridum

Circaea lutetiana

Cirsium palustre

Clinopodium ascendens

Conium maculatum

Conopodium majus

Crepis biennis

Crepis vesicaria

Cynodon dactylon

Dactylorhiza praetermissa

Dryopteris affinis

Elatine hexandra

Epilobium palustre

Equisetum arvense

Eriophorum angustifolium

Erysimum cheiranthoides

Festuca arundinacea

Filipendula ulmaria

Glyceria declinata

Glyceria fluitans

Glyceria notata

Gnaphalium luteoalbum ?

Hypericum elodes

Hypericum perforatum

Isolepis setacea

Juncus acutiflorus

Juncus bulbosus

Juncus conglomeratus

Juncus inflexus

Kickxia spuria

Koeleria macrantha

Lamium amplexicaule

Leontodon hispidus

Lepidium heterophyllum

Leymus arenarius

Linaria vulgaris

Linum bienne

Linum cartharticum

Littorella uniflora

Luzula multiflora

Lychnis flos-cuculi

Lycopus europaeus

Lysimachia nummularia

Lythrum portula

Malva moschata

Myosotis laxa

Myosotis scorpoides

Ononis repens

Pastinaca sativa

Persicaria amphibia

Persicaria lapathifolia

Phalaris arundinacea

Phleum bertolonii

Phleum pratense

Pilosella officinarum

Polygonum oxyspermum

Potamogeton polygonifolius

Puccinellia maritima

Pulicaria dysenterica

Ranunculus hederaceus

Ranunculus sceleratus

Reseda lutea

Rorippa sylvestris

Rumex sanguineus

Scrophularia auricularia

Scutellaria galericulata

Senecio squalidus

Seriphidium maritimum

Spergularia marina

Stachys officinalis

Stachys palustris

Stachys sylvatica

Stellaria graminea

Stellaria holostea

Stellaria neglecta

Stellaria uliginosa

Torilis nodosa

Torilis japonica

Tussilago farfara

Ulmus minor

Valeriana dioica

Verbena officinalis

Veronica montana

Vicia lathyroides

Viola reichenbachiana

Viola canina

Table 7. Species previously included in the Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which do not now qualify for the second edition.

Crambe maritimum

Elymus caninus

Epilobium lanceolatum

Erodium maritmum

Euphorbia paralias

Filago pyramidata

Fumaria bastardii

Fumaria capreolata

Lathraea clandestina

Lavatera arborea

Lepidium latifolium

Limonium binervosum agg.

Linaria supina

Matthiola incana

Moenchia erecta

Oenanthe pimpinelloides

Oenothera stricta

Parentucellia viscosa

Poa palustris

Polygonum oxyspermum subsp. raii

Ranunculus parviflorus

Schoenoplectus x carinatus

Trifolium ornithopodioides

Zostera angustifolia