A survey of the flora of seven cemeteries in Dundee

Two visits were made to seven cemeteries in Dundee in spring and summer 2021-2022, noting all wild vascular plants. 176 species were recorded, with a mean of 63 per cemetery (range 25 to 116), more than in an Easter Ross survey. Species included Saxifraga granulata (2 sites), Dactylorhiza fuchsia (2sites) and Luzula campestris (3 sites). There was some suggestion of a heathland or woodland origin in a few places. These graveyards were heavily managed with grass cutting and herbicide use, although a few untidy corners survived.

Cemeteries in Easter Ross

20 cemeteries, 12 rural and 8 urban, were visited twice in spring and summer 2020-2021 and all wild plants noted. 151 species were recorded in total, 88 being in both urban and rural. A mean of 39.0 species per site were found in the rural cemeteries and 38.4 in urban. 12 neophytes were recorded in rural cemeteries and 8 in urban sites. Saxifraga granulata was present in quantity in two urban graveyards and Luzula campestris was widespread, being seen in 16 cemeteries. These sites are very heavily managed with grass cutting and herbicide application and there were relatively few differences between urban and rural locations.

Urban or Rural flora – which is more diverse in Easter Ross?

Ten pairs of 100 metre squares, one urban and one rural, were randomly selected in Easter Ross from the same hectad. They were visited twice for 40 minutes. In winter 100 species were recorded in the urban squares and 97 in the rural, In summer 104 species in the urban and 136 in the rural. Neophytes accounted for 16% in the urban and 3% in the rural samples. Species totals were 143 urban and 159 rural. Partial access was only possible in most squares and caution is needed in assessing these findings. Possible reasons for the findings include especially herbicide use and also species composition and micro-climate.