Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Jungermannia re-examined

I've now rechecked the Jungermannia from Merthyr Common which I posted a query about in an earlier blog (see here). I'm extremely glad that Sam flagged up that my specimen might be J. sphaerocarpa or J. obovata rather than J. pumila. As it turns out I made a complete howler and both specimens, fruiting and non-fruting, appear to be J. sphaerocarpa. Somehow I'd missed the fact that the perianths on the fruiting specimen were strongly winged. The non-fruiting specimen is identical vegetatively to the fruiting specimen (both have round leaves with a narrow insertion, colourless rhizoids and are non aromatic).

Jungermannia sphaerocarpa - winged perianths

The fruiting specimen was from a shale cliff just above the stream (SO076098), with associates including Gymnostomum aeruginosum, Hyocomium armoricum, Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Amphidium mougeotii and Aneura pinguis, i.e. indicating some base enrichment.
J. sphaerocarpa habitat - wet shale bank above stream
The non fruiting specimen was from a wet rockface high above the stream (SO077098) with associates including Preissia quadrata, Palustriella commutata and A. mougeotii, again indicating base enrichment.

As far as I know there is just one confirmed previous VC41 record, made by Sam at Resolven in 2002. Barry's database also lists two records made by Albert Trow in 1898 (these are not listed in Flora of Glamorgan - not sure if they're reliable?).


  1. Well done George! This is a very subtle and uncommon species, which remarkably few bryologists ever spot. Trow's records come from a very implausible area and I suspect result from nomenclature changes.

  2. Thanks, too subtle for me to ID correctly in the first place, but never mind :-)

    The fact I brought two samples home from different areas of the Nant Morlais gorge probably means there's quite a bit of it at the site.

  3. PS I suppose it should now be Solenostoma sphaerocarpum.

  4. Excellent - one I've yet to see.