Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Leiocolea badensis (Scarce Notchwort)

Not really that scarce, Leiocolea badensis is another calcicole that turns up occasionally at the edges of forestry tracks. Yesterday, in glorious sunshine, we came across a number of patches as we hiked along the high-line trail between Abergwynfi and Cymmer.

Leiocolea badensis, Tunnel Row Forestry, Abergwynfi

The calcicole community also included, among others, Calliergonella lindbergii, Ctenidium molluscum, Dicranella varia, Ditrichum gracile and Encalypta streptocarpa.
Leiocolea badensis resembles L. turbinata but differs in the very obvious broad attachment of the leaves. It is less easy to see that the leaves are also shortly-decurrent until you get a shoot under the microscope.

 Shortly decurrent leaves of L. badensis, on dorsal side

In Smith's key, leaf cell dimensions are used to differentiate badensis from turbinata, but Paton warns that the variation in cell size in both species makes this an unsatisfactory criterion. Better to look for the small, but rather obvious trigones in the leaf cell structure of L. badensis.

Trigones in leaf cell structure of L. badensis

Leiocolea turbinata is a more strict calcicole and unlikely along forestry tracks.
We also collected a round-leaved Jungermannia sp. (without perianths), which was locally abundant, but remains unidentified. 


  1. Very nice Charles - I see you're getting a nice scatter of records on NPT tracks of this easily overlooked species - it's one I've seen elsewhere, but not yet in Swansea.

  2. Sam had it in a similar habitat in RCT in 2011 and drew attention to forestry tracks as a habitat in the Atlas. It will be interesting to see how widespread it is off limestone. Once you start seeing things like Ditrichum gracile along these tracks you know you're in business.