Saturday, 30 January 2016

Leucodon - maybe we're looking in the wrong place!

George's post ( about Glamorgan's only patch of Leucodon sciuroides illustrates a patch in a relatively classic epiphytic locus, although this is assumed to be a temporary colonist (akin to the Bristol Zoo Antitrichia and various Orthotrichum).  Only half of the 23 Monmouthshire records of this species are from trees (mostly Ash but also Poplar and Elm); others come from Old Red Standstone blocks (Skirrid, Trewyn & Bryn Arw) and sandstone roof tiles (Penhow & Dingestow Churches).  Most intriguing, though, is a colony on an old mossy corrugated asbestos barn roof here at Dingestow Court.

Leucodon is scattered across most of the left hand end of the roof, with abundant 5-10 cm patches across a 3x3m area.  When I first noticed it in 2008 the patch was denser but a bit smaller (I described it as a 1m wide strip down the height of the roof).  The shoots are pretty big, about 2-3 cm long, and might well fit 'var morensis'.  Some shoots hold abundant axillary branchlets. 


Anyway, it's always worth a look on asbestos roofs if you can reach them legally.


  1. I do like an asbestos roof, but never realised Leucodon could be found there! Would you have a full list of asbestophiles by any chance?
    I should that I don't normally go crawling over people's roofs without asking - I normally do a bit of door-knocking first. I passed quite a few thatched buildings in the Vale last w/e which looked worth chancing a door knock.

  2. The asbestos roofs here support a very wide range of mosses: Encalypta streptocarpa, Barbula unguiculata, Barbula sardoa, Bryoerythrophyllum recurvirostrum, Didymodon insulanus, Didymodon rigidulus, Syntrichia ruralis, Syntrichia Montana, Grimmia pulvinata, Schistidium crassipilum, Schistidium apocarpum, Leucodon sciuroides, Homalothecium sericeum, Brachythecium rutabulum, Hypnum cupressiforme (a large form formerly called var tectorum) and doubtless a few others I have forgotten (I'll have a look now...)