A perennial herb restricted to a single site where it occurs on basic igneous rock outcrops, along the seaward edge of cliff-tops and on inaccessible cliff ledges. Lowland.
The distribution of L. paradoxum has remained largely unchanged since the species was first described in 1931, and the population size has been remarkably stable for at least the last twenty years. Perring & Sell (1968) mapped L. paradoxum in Ireland (E. Donegal), but this and other N.W. Irish populations are now considered to be a separate taxon, L. recurvum subsp. humile.
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Light (Ellenberg): 9
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 7
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 4
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 6
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.4
Annual Precipitation (mm): 844
Height (cm): 20
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Plantatt Conservation Status
RDB Species Accounts
Limonium paradoxum Pugsley (Plumbaginaceae)
Rock sea-lavender, Lafant Tyddewi
Status in Britain: VULNERABLE. ENDEMIC.
This is a rather short, well-branched species, similar in many respects to Limonium britannicum, but distinguished by its 'knotted' spikes, clustered spikelets and relatively long outer bracts (M.J.Ingrouille, pers. comm.). L. paradoxum is a long-recognised segregate of the L. binervosum group (Pugsley 1931), confined in Britain to a single locality: along about 1 km of coast between St David's Head and the east side of Porthmelgan Bay, Pembrokeshire. In the past it was also recorded from sea-cliffs near Malin Head, East Donegal (Ireland), but these populations are now considered to be a separate taxon (Ingrouille & Stace 1986).
At St David's Head, L. paradoxum occurs on basic igneous rock outcrops and cliffs, occurring in more or less accessible sites at the cliff-edge, and in inaccessible ones on cliff-ledges. Associated species include Agrostis stolonifera, Anthyllis vulneraria, Armeria maritima, Atriplex prostrata, Crithmum maritimum, Cochlearia officinalis, Festuca rubra, Limonium procerum, Plantago coronopus, Silene uniflora and Spergularia rupicola.
In a detailed survey, Morgan (1989e) recorded about eleven populations of L. paradoxum, with an estimated total of 400-600 plants, all within a single 1 km square. Though there has been no recent count, a previous survey, in 1979, showed a similar population size, suggesting that the population is probably stable. The whole population is within an SSSI.
S. J. Leach
Atlas text references
Atlas Supp (46a)
1988. The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants.
1986. The Limonium binervosum aggregate (Plumbaginaceae) in the British Isles. Journal of the Linnean Society. 92:177-217.
1999. British Red Data Books. 1. Vascular plants, edn 3.