News - Bryophyte of the month

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Orthotrichum pulchellum

Young capsules of Orthotrichum pulchellum (Elegant Bristle-moss) with their characteristic calyptrae with a dark tip and spots around the base. Notice also that the capsules are held well clear of the leaves which are slightly curled when dry like this.

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Ptychomitrium polyphyllum

New year, new life: close-up of a young capsule of Ptychomitrium polyphyllum (Long-shanked pincushion).

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Mnium stellare

Part of a leaf of Mnium stellare (Starry thyme-moss) under a high power microscope. It is starting to show the blue colouration of the cells, typical of this species when the cells die.

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Hypnum imponens

Growing on the ground near Bramshaw in the New Forest. Photographed during the socially distanced Wessex group meeting in October 2020.

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Hookeria lucens

Hookeria lucens (Shining Hookeria), on the Gower Peninsula in May 2019. It's always a pleasure to find this moss, often shining out from a shady woodland bank, or a dark crevice in a cliff face.

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Physcomitrium sphaericum

Physcomitrium sphaericum (Dwarf Bladder-moss), on the margin of the Talybont Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons, September 2020. Not the best image, but a great find by Sharon Pilkington, involving much searching on hands and knees in the mud and rain!

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Chiloscyphus polyanthos

Chiloscyphus polyanthos/pallescens (St Winifrid's Moss), on a rock in a stream in the Brecon Beacons, July 2020. *Not identifiable with certainty without perianths, but the habitat and appearance suggest C. polyanthos in this case.

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Sphagnum subnitens var. subnitens

Fruiting Sphagnum subnitens (Lustrous Bog-moss), near the almost unpronounceable Bwlch in the Brecon Beacons, June 2020. Capsules are common with this species, but no less beautiful for that.

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Sphagnum subnitens var. subnitens

Sphagnum subnitens var. subnitens branch leaves under the microscope. This post shows the concave surface of the leaf with widely exposed chlorocysts and large pores. The next post shows the convex surface. Stained with methylene blue.

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Sphagnum subnitens var. subnitens

Sphagnum subnitens var. subnitens branch leaves under the microscope. The convex surface has narrowly exposed chlorocysts and small pores. Care must be taken not to focus down onto the larger pores in the concave surface. The previous post shows the concave surface view. Stained with methylene blue.

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