A survey of all native and naturally occurring vascular plants in 25 streets in Dundee during lockdown in 2020 was made and the results were compared with a similar survey in the same streets in 2001-4. The results are summarised and there is a short discussion.

  • I recorded all wild vascular plants growing in the 25 streets nearest my home in the West of Dundee during lockdown in 2020 making 2 visits between April and June.
  • I had made a similar survey of the same streets in 2001-4 making 2 visits in spring and summer.
  • A total of 90 different species were found in 2001-4 and 89 in 2020
  • 30 taxa recorded in 2001-4 were not refound in 2020 with a corresponding number of new finds.
  • Poa annua (Annual Meadow Grass) was the commonest in both surveys
  • Species showing an increase of 5 or more streets included Anisantha (Bromus) sterilis, (Barren Brome), Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale Cress), Asplenium ruta-muraria (Wall-rue), Cerastium glomeratum, (Sticky Mouse-ear), Mycelis muralis (Wall Lettuce) and Epilobium ciliatum (American Willowherb).
  • Decreases of 5 or more streets were recorded for Buddleja davidii (Butterfly-bush), Linaria purpurea (Purple Toadflax), Plantago major (Greater Plantain) and Polygonum aviculare (Knotgrass).
Perth Road, Dundee. The main species are Asplenium trichomanes, Mycelis muralis, Cymbalaria muralis and Hieraceum agg. (Mosses not recorded.)
Kerbside vegetation, with Epilobium spp, and Trifolium dubium (inter alia), Dundee


  • This survey must be treated with caution as the timing of visits was not identical on the 2 occasions. Also council herbicide use is vigorous although intermittent. The wall habitat is slightly protected from this.
  • In summary there was no detected loss of biodiversity, although there was some indication of trends in abundance, broadly in line with national reports.
  • Long-term monitoring of urban sites is worthwhile as these places provide unique habitats.
  • BSS news No 115 2020 p37-41 and BSS Blog 1/7/2020