Holmbush City Limits, part 2

About three months had passed since I last wandered around looking for mosses on a flyover near Shoreham and I should really have gone back sooner. In March a Bryum was fruiting profusely under galvanised crash barriers by a farm track but the capsules were too immature to check for Bryum pallescens which is partial to spots such as this which are polluted by metals.

The Bryum was now dry and brown but some capsules were just hanging on. Dissecting them back home I found a peristome on some specimens and the inner peristome had long perforations as in B. pallescens. I sent some to Tom who confirmed it.203B98D2-212E-40E5-9DC7-0C01D638DA65

It wasn’t a good time to check for other mosses but the chalk-hill flowers were at their best with masses of Kidney Vetch, some Pyramid Orchids and one spike of Broomrape.

A scrubby slope to one side and a grassier slope down to the bypass were covered in Common-spotted Orchids. The latter slope had patches of dried up moss which included Thuidium tamariscinum, Eurhynchium striatum and Barbula convoluta.

Still not up to 40 species for this tetrad so there will have to be a third visit.

One thought on “Holmbush City Limits, part 2

  1. There’s an interesting fact about peristomes that was passed on to me by David Holyoak. In Sue’s very nice drawing you can see the filaments in amongst the inner teeth and you can see that these have appendages and are thus described as appendiculate. Species of Bryum with small spores have appendiculate filaments to aid removal from the urn but where the spores are above about 20 – 25 microns across they would presumably get tangled up and so the filaments lack such projections. It’s not as useful for identification as it sounds though since few Bryum spp. have spores that large. The other point to note is that, when dissecting, it is easy to end up with half of one of the inner teeth (or processes) and then that can look quite like a filament with said appendages and be potentially misleading.

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