Nature Notes from Argyll
(and occasionally other places)

Thu 19 Jul 2007 Mull - British Bryological Society Field Meeting, second day.

We spent the day on the south coast of the Ross of Mull, in Aoineadh Beag and the surrounding area.

Campylopus introflexus   Dicranum scoparium

The star-like effect of Campylopus introflexus is caused by the white hair-points to the leaves spreading horizontally.  It's an introduced species that colonises bare ground.  The second pic is of Dicranum scoparium, a common moss which I've nearly identified several times myself but have never been quite sure.

Racomitrium aquaticum   Andreaea rothii

Racomitrium aquaticum, found on damp rocks, and Andreaea rothii, which forms black patches on exposed rocks in hill country.

Sphagnum subnitens   Aulacomnium palustre

Here is Sphagnum subnitens again, which we had yesterday with sporophytes.  This time it lacks the sporophytes but shows well the heads with green centres and salmon-pink outer parts.  It doesn't always have this colouring but when it does it is easy to recognise.  Aulacomnium palustre, on the right, is like a Sphagnum in habit, and grows with them, as seen here.

Colura calyptrifolia   Loeskeobryum brevirostre

These two are from a forestry plantation.  The tiny liverwort Colura calyptrifolia was on Larch in deep shade.  The moss Loeskeobryum brevirostre was all over a deadish Eared Willow in a forest clearing.

Scapania undulata   Dichodontium flavescens agg

These two are from a "mucky undercut seepage bank" according to my notes.  The reddish one is the liverwort Scapania undulata, and the green one is probably Dichodontium flavescens but may be D pellucidum.  Since these are sometimes treated as a single species I'm calling it D flavescens agg

Schistidium maritimum   Palustriella commutata

Schistidium maritimum, which grows closer to the sea than any other moss, and Palustriella commutata from dripping basalt rock.

Hedwigia stellata agg   Frullania fragilifolia

Two more on rock.  Hedwigia stellata agg (could be H stellata or H ciliata, which were recently split) has a greyish look from a distance due to the white leaf-tips, but close to is a mix of dingy reds and greens.  I was very pleased to be shown Frullania fragilifolia, as the Frullanias I find on rock are invariably F tamarisci.  This one is smaller and darker, the purple has less red in it and no green bits.  It is strongly scented and the leaves come off if you touch it with a wet finger, neither of which are characters of F tamarisci.

Other bryophytes that I made a note of were: Diplophyllum albicans, Breutelia chrysocoma, Mylia taylorii, M anomala, Odontoschisma sphagni, Lophocolea bidentata, Pseudotaxiphyllum elegans, Plagiothecium curvifolium, P succulentum, P gemmatum, Radula complanata, Entosthodon attenuatus, Trichostomum tenuirostre, Fissidens taxifolius, Blindia acuta, Isothecium alopecuroides, I myosuroides, Rhizomnium punctatum, Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Ptychomitrium polyphyllum, Frullania fragilifolia, Pterogonium gracile, Eucladium verticillatum, Rhynchostegium riparioides, Ulota phyllantha, Neckera complanata, Philonotis fontana, Brachythecium rivulare, Calliergonella cuspidata, Campylium stellatum.

Vicia sylvatica   Vicia sylvatica

A flowery patch on the cliffside turned out to be Wood Vetch, a plant I'd not seen on the Scottish west coast before.  Other plants of note on these cliffs were Carline Thistle and Royal Fern.  Woodruff was growing among the bracken and bramble.


All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer