Unlucky 13 - example new additions on the Red List
- A very attractive annual buttercup with small yellow
- Has undergone an astonishing decline, mostly in the last 30
years (lost from 81% of 10-km squares ("hectads") - 157 since 1987,
gone from 672) - hence the highest possible threat category. Since
it is still recorded from 157 hectads it was not included in the
list of Scarce species.
- It has declined dramatically since the 1962 Atlas,
when a decline was only apparent at the northern edge of its
- It is an archaeophyte - it was introduced into Britain in
Roman times (it came with Roman farmers as they introduced new
crops like Opium Poppy, peas and beans) and it became a major pest
for them in their fields.
- The fruits are astonishing structures covered in large
- Characteristic of heavy lime-rich clay
- A small, brightly flowered poppy - flowers often have black
marks at base of petals.
- Lost from 61% of hectads (342 since 1987, gone from 538). Most
decline since 1950s.
- Also an archaeophyte, also introduced in the Bronze Age/Roman
- Plantlife's Poppy Survey of 2004 shows that it is very much a
species of traditional arable fields and has not yet made the jump
to waysides and road verges as common poppy has.
- Characteristic of light, well drained lime-rich soils on
chalk, limestone and sandy loams.
- An annual that's densely covered in very sticky hairs (which
often trap insects accidentally).
- Lost from 65% of hectads (238 since 1987, gone from 449). Most
decline since 1950s.
- Also an archaeophyte, also introduced in the Bronze Age/Roman
- The creamy-white flowers are semi-closed during the day, with
the tips of their petals curled up (as if the flower has wilted).
At night, the flower re-opens fully and emits a strong scent to
attract nocturnal insects for pollination (e.g. moths).
- Characteristic of lime-rich loams on limestone and sand.
- Has declined due to herbicide use and preference for
autumn-drilled crops - this species germinates in
- A small perennial herb of short unimproved turf on
well-drained calcareous soils, mostly on chalk and limestone, also
on sand dunes. In Scotland, it also grows on sandstone
- It is a species characteristic of "good" species-rich
grassland, i.e. well grazed (but not or under-overgrazed) and not
improved with fertilizer or herbicides. Lost from 51%
of hectads (129
since 1987, gone from 113).
- Before 1930, this species showed modest losses, mainly in
Gloucestershire and Yorkshire. Since then it has declined
substantially on the chalk in S. England and limestone in N.E.
England, largely due to agricultural improvement or lack of
- Distribution is mostly eastern, from the E. coast
of Scotland down to
Lincoln and East
Anglia, with smaller populations in Gloucestershire,
Wiltshire and Yorkshire.
- Eyebrights are small annuals of unimproved grassy
- They are semi-parasitic, i.e, they are green and produce their
own food but their roots penetrate those of surrounding plants (esp
grasses) and "steal" nutrients and water from them.
- There are 23 species of Eyebright in Britain and many form
hybrids. They are very similar and can be difficult to
- This particular species grows in tightly grazed acidic
grassland, heathland and moors (other species are more common and
the group will be familiar to many).
- It has been lost from 62% of hectads (142 since 1987, gone from
- Losses are mostly due to the improvement of grassland and
heathland, especially in lowland England. It is a southern species,
found in S. Wales, S.W. England and S.E. England.
- It is regarded as Endemic to Britain (it is not found elsewhere
in the world).
- The common names comes from their medicinal use (via
Doctrine of Signatures - a plant will heal the organ it resembles)
- their tiny white flowers in close-up are blotched with yellow
striped with purple like a bruised eye - compresses and tinctures
from them were used to treat many eye disorders.
- An odd looking saprophytic perennial herb - it produces no food
of it's own (hence no leaves, no chlorophyll and its yellow colour)
and lives on dead and decaying plant material in the soil (the
thickened roots underground branch repeatedly to form a
- It is most frequent in woodland, especially under Beech and
Hazel on lime-rich soils, and under Pines on more acidic soils. It
also grows with Creeping Willow in damp dune-slacks.
- This species has suffered a 64% decline. Although many
sites were lost before 1930, it has suffered a further marked
decline in S. England since the 1962
Atlas. Losses are probably due to changes in woodland
- An attractive evergreen alpine fern that is small but
- It grows on well-drained, lime-rich rocks in cool, moist
positions at the base of mountain cliffs, on scree-slopes and on
rocky ledges. It also grows in deep grikes of limestone
- Generally found above 600 m and reaching 1150 m in the
Breadalbanes (Mid Perth).
- It has been lost from 39% of hectads (111 since 1987, gone from
- Colonies are often very small (just a few plants) and
vulnerable to grazing and localised rock-falls.
- Some sites were lost to collecting before 1930 (especially
during the great Victorian fern craze) and it is possible that this
practice continues, albeit at a much reduced frequency.
- Small populations exist in Wales
and the Lake District; it is more
frequent in the Scottish uplands and western
- An annual, rootless, twining and scrambling herb which lacks
chlorophyll and is reddish in colour.
- It is a parasite, attaching itself to its host by small
"suckers" that penetrate the host's stems and remove water and
- It parasitises a wide variety of small shrubs and herbs (most
frequently Heather, Thyme and Gorse) on heathland, chalk downland
- It has been lost from 59% of hectads (208 since 1987, gone from
- Most of this massive decline has taken place from the entire
northern edge of its range (N. England, the Midlands, Wales and E.
Anglia), and it is now largely confined to the south of a line from
the R. Thames to the R. Severn
- Decline is due to the agricultural improvement of lowland
heath, ploughing of chalk downlands, and an increase in
- Field Gentian
- Our "Cover Girl" for the New Red List.
- A biennial or annual herb with very attractive purply-blue
- Found on mildly acidic to neutral soils in pastures, hill
grassland, grassy heaths, sand dunes, machair and road
- It is locally common in north England and Scotland, but absent
from most of south and central Britain.
- It has been lost from 57% of hectads (394 since 1987, gone from
- It had already suffered a marked decline by 1930 and sites are
still being lost through overgrazing in the uplands and the neglect
of lowland pastures.
- In its English stronghold, Cumbria, it has disappeared from
half the hectads from which it has been recorded since 1930.
- It is a species which most botanists would consider as being
relatively common, but good to see - it tends to indicate slightly
richer botanical areas and ones where it might be worth searching
further other nice plants
- This is one example of the many species that were
previously not known to be under threat but are now shown to be
disappearing over a wide area.
- A floating perennial herb which produces rosettes of leaves on
floating stems and lovely white flowers in summer.
- In winter, small buds are produced which sink to the mud at the
bottom of the pool - the rest of the plant dies. New plants grow
from the buds in the spring and float to the surface.
- It is found in pools, ponds, ditches and canals.
- It has been lost from 54% of hectads (148 since 1987, gone from
- Most losses are from north-west England and eastern England
(outside East Anglia).
- It has suffered from pond-infilling, the conversion of grazing
marshes to arable, and from eutrophication.
- It is still frequent in East
Anglia, the Somerset Levels and the coastal levels
of Kent and
- A "sinister, malodorous" biennial herb that's covered in sticky
hairs and produces flesh-like dusky-yellow, purple-veined
- It grows on dry, calcareous soils, particularly on chalk, and
on coastal sandhills, sandy open areas and waste ground. It prefers
disturbed ground, including rabbit warrens and building sites.
- It is an Archaeophyte, having been introduced to Britain in the
Bronze Age. It was once widely cultivated for its medicinal
properties; the whole plant is extremely poisonous and rich in
alkaloids (hyoscyamine, atropine & scopolamine) and has been
used as a cure for toothache and as a poison. Dr Crippen famously
used it to murder his wife in 1910 (See Flora Britannica pg 301 for
- It has been lost from 64% of hectads (282 since 1987, lost from
519). It has declined throughout its range, but especially in N.
England and the Midlands.
- Declines were evident in the 1962 Atlas but have
increased since then. They have been put down to the more intensive
use of farmland, the increased use of herbicides, the "tidying-up"
of the waste places and losses of habitat to coastal
- A well-loved orchid that grows in a wide range of usually
nutrient-poor habitats, including heathy pastures, grassland, open
scrub, woodland edges and rides, and on moorland (often amongst
Bracken). It also sometimes grows in acidic bogs and calcareous
- It is a widespread species, being found throughout Britain but
especially in the west and north.
- It has, however, declined considerably from throughout its
range, with most losses in England (largely before 1930).
- It has been lost from 64% of hectads (342 since 1987, lost from
- In the lowlands it has been lost through the conversion of
heathland to agriculture, increased use of herbicide and
fertilizer, and woodland disturbance; upland populations have also
been lost to increased grazing.
- An excellent example of a widespread species that has
declined considerably but can still be seen in "good"
hypnoides- Mossy Saxifrage
- A perennial alpine herb forming mats of fine moss-like leaves,
studded with large white flowers in summer.
- It grows on moist rocks, screes, cliffs and by mountain
streams. Substrates are frequently base-rich, although it can grow
on acidic rocks. Rarely it occurs on sand dunes.
- It has been lost from 33% of hectads (272 since 1987, lost from
- It is found in upland areas of north and south Wales, the Peak
District, the Lake District and is widespread in upland
- Losses have been seen from throughout its range, but more
so in Scotland. It has probably declined