Diapensia: mystery on the mountain
This summer sees the publication of the author's Mountain Flowers, some 60 years after the seminal book of the same name was published in the New Naturalist series. Here, Michael Scott focusses on one intriguing plant whose appearance in the Highlands is shrouded in Mystery.
On 5th July 1951, just a few weeks after I was born, an ornithologist called Charles Tebbutt was walking on a rugged hillside near Glenfinnan, in Inverness-shire. Tebbutt is best known for his work on the birds of Huntingdonshire, but he must also have had some interest in botany because he recognised that the plant which he saw at his feet was unfamiliar.