Sherkin Island Marine Station

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Sherkin Island,
Co. Cork,

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The Wild Plants of Sherkin,
Cape Clear and adjacent Islands
of West Cork

Species new to the islands, rediscoveries
and significant extensions of known distribution.



By John Akeroyd, Leander Wolstenholme & Jenna Poole

Published by Sherkin Island Marine Station, Sherkin Island, Co. Cork
36 pages. 246mm x 170mm. Softback. 2011

ISBN: 978-1-870492-58-4


Sherkin and the other islands of Roaringwater Bay, S.W. Cork, have emerged as an area extraordinarily rich in wild plants – a significant hotspot of Irish botanical diversity. The Wild Plants of Sherkin, Cape Clear and adjacent Islands of West Cork, published in 1996 by Sherkin Island Marine Station, recorded a total of 592 flowering plants, conifers, ferns and stoneworts, including several plants new to the Irish flora. Most of these plants, native and introduced, were recorded since 1975 by botanists working at the Marine Station. In the 15 years since, our Marine Station botanists have added another 35 new plants to the flora, alongside a remarkable number of major rediscoveries and important extensions of known local and Irish distributions. Not only have these researchers now refound almost all the botanical rarities that the famous botanist Oleg Polunin had noted on Sherkin and other islands in the late 1940, and added three other plants to the Irish flora, but also they have tracked down several plants long thought to be extinct.

The Supplement shows how Sherkin and the adjacent islands in Roaringwater Bay remain the botanically richest 10-kilometre square in Ireland, with 14 Red-listed Irish species (although three of them are unfortunately apparently extinct) and over 40 other significantly rare Irish plants.

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