Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Saturday's Glamorgan Botany Group trip to Michaelston-le-pit in the eastern Vale provided a good opportunity to have a first look at this woefully under-recorded area. The two tetrads visited, ST17L and G, had only 4 bryo species recorded between them according to Barry's latest map, despite supporting some lovely woodland with botanical delights such as Italian Lords and Ladies (ssp. neglectum), Bird's-nest Orchid, Greater Butterfly Orchid and Herb Paris.

The bryophytes were parched and there were plenty of other botanical and entomological distractions, so my survey was far from thorough, but a few nice species were recorded nonetheless. The rocky limestone woodland held abundant Cirriphyllum crassinervium (including some with old sporophytes), Porella platyphylla, at least one patch of Mnium stellare at the base of a limestone outcrop and Isothecium alopecuroides at the base of an Ash trunk.
Rocky limestone woodland
Cirriphyllum crassinervium (with old sporophytes)
The best find in the valley woodland was a large patch of Fissidens exilis on a soil bank. There seem to be very few recent Glamorgan records of this tiny pocket moss.
Valley woodland
Fissidens exilis (fruiting)
Fissidens exilis - whole plant, showing unbordered leaves
The area certainly warrants a more thorough look in more favourable conditions.

1 comment:

  1. Some nice records George from what looks a lovely site. Coincidentally Sam showed me Fiss.exilis at NBGW today - as you say, tiny!