Saturday, 8 November 2014

mystery moss in Plantasia

I'm assuming this is an alien, but must confess that I've not yet tried keying it out, so forgive me if it's something obvious that I'm missing. It's reminiscent of Calyptrochaeta apiculata, but clearly isn't that. C. brownii looks a better fit but that's not quite right either so I'm throwing it open to suggestions before I spend more time looking. Here are some phone pics from the location and bits under the m'scope. I'll take a few tidier images tomorrow.


  1. No idea as to the ID nor really where to start. What does Vesicularia look like as that's mentioned in books as a regular glasshouse alien.

  2. Just checked in Crum and Anderson and Vesicularia has the short double nerve, shortish cells, branched shoots and untoothed margin. Looks rather likely!

  3. PS the capsules and habitat are also right for V vesicularis. Not sure if there are other species other than the 3 in N America. I'm sure there must be!

  4. Nice one Sam, looks spot on for that. I can't find much about the genus on line other than it appears to be poorly studied. The NBN was down when I looked late last night, so not sure how frequent it is in Britain?

  5. Do want a voucher for the record? It appears the taxonomy is poorly studied, so I guess lodging a specimen somewhere might be helpful.
    The species is not listed on MapMate, so if you want to add it to your records direct the details are as follows:

    09 Nov 2014
    Plantasia hot house
    VC41 SS65929322
    Locally abundant on concrete balcony and associated plastic pipework in splash zone below waterfall. Total area covered approx.1.5 sqm
    No associates other than filamentous algae

  6. It's probably not one to record, really, as it's in a hothouse rather than in the wild. In general only bryophytes that have established themselves outdoors are countable. It's worth a note of some kind though.

  7. Fair enough. Apparently there are 77 species in this genus globally, so I think naming it as V. vesicularis may be more of an assumption than anything else in any case? And now for a useless bit of trivia : Vesicularia is also the generic name of a group of bryozoans ('moss animals') in the family Vesiculariidae.