Sunday, 22 March 2015

Hook-leaf query

I'm sure I'm missing something obvious, but this hook-leaved moss from Merthyr Common last week has me stumped. It was growing in a flush (or near the stream that ran along the bottom of it - I can't quite remember now) which was probably quite acidic.

I was sure this was going to be Warnstorfia exannulata but there is no trace of a nerve on most of the leaves (some have a faint short double nerve), and I can't see anything that fits the bill. Leaves are 2mm long, hooked but not forming complete loops. Suggestions appreciated, thanks.


  1. There seems to be a Hygrohypnum look about it, but I'm not terribly familiar with these? H. eurygium has a short double nerve

  2. Thanks Barry, I did wonder about H. ochraceum but it looked very different from the specimen in the fast-flowing stream not too far away, which had concave leaves. I'll check out H. eurygium in the books tonight.

  3. I thought H ochraceum when I looked at the lower picture - the alar cells look large and hyaline. This genus is extremely plastic, and I've had plants that look as fat and symmetrical-leaved as Pseudoscleropodium once that turned out to be a form of H ochraceum.

  4. Yes, the alar cells are large and hyaline. Having looked at it again tonight, I'm pretty sure you're right with H. ochraceum. It looked very different to a plant of that species growing in a fast-flowing stream about 200m away, but not surprising given the different habitat.

    I did find Warnstorfia exannulata in another sample from the same flush.