Friday, 27 February 2015

Mini Brachythecium

I found a large patch of Brachythecium populeum on a Hazel branch at Carmel today on which all of the sporophytes were half the size of the usual ones on that species.  The leaves etc were relatively small too.  I did wonder whether it might be Rhynchostegiella litorea, but the unbeaked capsule indicates it isn't.  Very odd!


  1. The Brachytheciaceae are hard enough as it is - the last thing we need is variation like this to complicate things further! Sam, I know you've mentioned in the past that the key and illustrations in Smith have a few technical issues, so was wondering if there is an alternative key that might be helpful?

  2. The illustrations of B mildeanum and B rutabulum basal cells are transposed in one edition of Smith, but I can't remember which off the top of my head. The European book (Frey, Frahm & Blockeel is probably the best alternative. The new Swedish Flora ( is by the outstandingly good Lars Hedenas and has bilingual keys, but unlike the other two volumes lacks English summaries.