Orthotrichum pallens

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Orthotrichum pallens
Bruch ex Brid.

This relatively rare, small Orthotrichum was found by Sharon Pilkington, on a sycamore tree next to the road at Marfield Wetland Reserve and quarry site in North Yorkshire. The trees were covered with quarry dust.

There were several small tufts amongst abundant Lewinskya affinis, distinguished by their small size and (upon close examination) the plicate, hairless calyptrae, nicely illustrated in this image:

Capsules are emergent, with a plicate, glabrous calyptra

Also worth noting is that this was found in late June, when many similar species have finished fruiting (although dehisced capsules often remain). Orthotrichum columbicum was found at the same location, also with maturing capsules. So – a good time to look for unusual Orthotrichums!

Published: 1 August 2021