Hartfield revisited

My visit to Hartfield and tetrad TQ43S a few weeks ago only covered one corner of TQ4735 and hadn’t touched the village itself at all. Thinking that the churchyard might be worth a quick visit I went there a couple of days ago and ended up spending rather more time there than I expected.

One of the first things that jumped out when I arrived was Schistidium crassipilum, but I’d barely got started before I noticed a couple of interesting acrocarps on some bare soil by one of the tombstones. The first reminded me of something we saw at Scotney 18 months ago, and so my brain was thinking ‘Acaulon muticum‘, but not quite convinced. Anyway, careful checking and showing it to Tom confirmed that it was, so that was a nice find. Tom observed that “the teeth at the apex of the leaf and the reflexed apiculus together with the immersed cleistocarpous capsule are nearly unique.  The smooth spores mean it can’t be A. mediterraneum.”

Picture of Acaulon muticum growing on an anthill between two tombstones

Acaulon muticum growing on an anthill between two tombstones

Picture of Acaulon muticum

Acaulon muticum

Picture of Acaulon muticum

Acaulon muticum, showing the teeth at the leaf apex

Pretty much alongside it was a bright green patch with green capsules surrounded by long perichaetial leaves. It had naked antheridia in the leaf axils, which meant it was Pleuridium acuminatum, which I’d not seen before.

Picture of Pleuridium acuminatum

Pleuridium acuminatum

Picture of Pleuridium acuminatum

Pleuridium acuminatum with orange antheridium in leaf axil

I was looking out for Orthotrichum anomalum on the tombstones, but didn’t find any. The only member of that genus I found, also on one of the monuments, was O. diaphanum. The north side of the church had several species on the wall, including Amblystegium serpens, Polytrichum juniperinum and a even little bit of Mnium hornum.

Finally, looping around back to near where I started there was a bright green cushion with capsules. Tom again gave me a few pointers, and so I finished in the churchyard with Weissia controversa var. controversa.

Picture of Weissia controversa var. controversa

Weissia controversa var. controversa

So, my two Hartfield visits have clocked up 50 species I think, in maybe four or five hours in total. I still need to compare the list with those previously recorded, but most of them are new records. Even so, I’ve only been in one of the monads of TQ43S, and the other 75 per cent of the area looks like it has some other potentially rich habitats, so there should be more.

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One thought on “Hartfield revisited

  1. I went back a week later to take a contextual picture of Acaulon muticum, which I’ve now added to the piece above. I guess it might be worth notifying the church in case they think about clearing the anthill.

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