Annual meeting 1932: Minehead

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30 March 1932 - 6 April 1932

Meeting report

(Extracted from The Journal of Botany, October, 1932.)

This Society held its Annual Meeting and Excursion at Minehead, Somerset, from March 30th to April 6th, 1932, under the Presidency of Dr. W. Watson – nearly thirty members and friends attending. Considering the early date and the lateness of the season, the weather was favourable, though Monday’s drive over Exmoor found the moorland vegetation hidden under snow.

On March 31st a long coach drive served as a Regional Survey of the Exmoor, Blackdown, and Quantock Hills, Wellington, and Taunton, where the President and Mrs. Watson entertained the members to tea. Heavy rain prevented a visit to the Sphagnetum at Treborough, but some Sphagna were collected on the Blackdowns; the return was made by Broomfield and Bishops’ Lydeard. Amongst other plants of interest the Cave Moss (Schistostega) was noted and antheridial and archegonial plants of Lunularia.

Next day the Quantocks were visited; the oak wood in Hodders Combe contained many mosses fruiting which rarely do so. The return journey was made by Halswey Combe, Crowcombe, and Stogumber, where Leptodontium gemmascens was collected on old thatch.

On Saturday, Dunkery Beacon, 1700 ft., was visited, and the rocky vale of the Horner, full of interesting plants. The next day there was a short ramble on the Warren at Minehead to study the Sandhill flora. On Monday a long coach drive led first to Porlock and up the wooded hillside to the moorland, where the county boundary was crossed into Devon. The steep descent of Countisbury Hill ended in Lynmouth. Thence up the narrow valley of the West Lyn, through steep woodland to Watersmeet, where a rich flora of mosses and hepatics was found among the rocks and tumbling waters. The last drive, on April 5th, was by Porlock and Oare to Badgworthy Water, including a walk up the stream (here dividing v.c.’s 4, N. Devon, and 5, S. Somerset) to the Doone Valley.

As nearly all the plants now to be mentioned were collected in v.c. 5, they will not be arranged in localities; some of those from v.c. 4 will be specified; the few new records for the latter are starred. Among the Sphagna seen were S. fimbriatum, S. rubellum, S. quinquefarium var. roseum, S. teres, and S. laricinum:-

True Mosses : Tetraphis pellucida, c. fr.; Polytrichum nanum, Diphyscium foliosum, Cynodontium bruntoni (Badgworthy Valley, 4*), Dicranum majus, plentifully, with fruit, D. fuscescens, D. scottianum (Badgworthy, 4); Fissidens pusillus; Grimmia doniana, G. subsquarrosa (Watersmeet, 4); Rhacomitrium sudeticum; Tortula vahliana (Staplegrove), Barbula convoluta var. sardoa; Trichostomum tenuirostre, flavovirens, and nitidum; Cinclidotus fontinaloides (c. fr. Badgworthy, 4 & 5); Zygodon viridissimus c. fr. and var. occidentalis; Ulota crispa var. intermedia, U. bruchii, and U. phyllantha; Funaria templetoni (4); Aulacomnium androgynum; Bryum roseum (Malmsmead, 4); a curious form of B. pseudotriquetrum was found on the sand on the Devon side of Badgworthy Water resembling B. mildeanum; Fontinalis squamosa (4 & 5), Cryphaea heteromalla; Neckera pumila var. phillippeana; Pterygophyllum lucens c. fr.; Hypnum ochraceum (4 & 5), H. eugyrium, and var. mackaii (Watersmeet, 4).

Hepatics: Aneura sinuata; Fossombronia pusilla and wondraczeki; Lophozia bicrenata, incisa, and floerkii; Chiloscyphus polyanthus var. fragilis (4 & 5) ; Saccogyna viticulosa, Cephalozia media, common on the Somerset side of Exmoor, 4*; Odontoschisma sphagni; Calypogeia fissa and arguta; Bazzania trilobata; Ptilidium ciliare; Trichocolea tomentella (4 & 5); Blepharostoma trichophyllum (4); Scapania compacta and gracilis; Lejeunea cavifolia and var. planiuscula; Microlejeunea ulicina; Marchesinia mackaii (Lynton, 4); Frullania tamarisci var. robusta ( 4 & 5); Anthoceros husnoti (5); A. laevis (4).

The Annual Meeting was held on April 2nd. The President, Dr. Watson, gave a very interesting address on “The Evolutionary Aspects of some Xerophytic Adaptations in the Bryophytes.” The usual official business was transacted, and it was proposed to hold the next Meeting in August, 1933, at the English Lakes; the headquarters will be at Portinscale.

The Society has sustained a heavy loss in the death last year of Mr. A. Sutton, who has for several years carried out the Distribution of the Mosses and the Editing of the Report with conspicuous zeal and efficiency.

Eleonora Armitage