Friday, 8 January 2016

Odontoschisma denudatum

And while we're on the subject of revisiting sites to see old friends.....,yesterday, H and I made a flying visit to Cwm Rhyd-y-gau, the little valley near Glyn Neath which has one one of the three (known) populations of Jubula hutchinsiae in NPT. A large part of the valley remains unexplored by us, some of it impossible under current conditions. We didn't find anything new yesterday, but it was nice to see that the Odontoschisma denudatum colony we found there a few years ago is flourishing.

Odontoschisma denudatum, Cwm Rhyd-y-gau

Under the microscope the massive trigones (almost as big a the leaf cells) are very distinctive.

Leaf cell structure of Odontoschisma denudatum

It's fortunate that this little valley has survived in a landscape that has been disfigured so much by coal mining, and it certainly warrants more intrepid exploration. Goodness knows what else is lurking there, maybe even Jamesoniella autumnalis or Anastrophyllum hellerianum.
Our trip this afternoon in cold, misty conditions to another mining area, near Tarren Saerbren in RCT, was relatively uneventful as far as bryophytes are concerned. But a very large population of Lophocolea bispinosa on the Tarren Silin coal tip was interesting. The tip has been planted extensively with Lodgepole Pine under which there is a large amount of Pyrola minor.


  1. Sounds like a good excuse for a joint venture when conditions are better - I'd love to see the Odontoschisma as well as having a good rummage around. Coincidentally I spent an hour exploring Darren y Bannau SS8793 yesterday - no real surprises, but I too was struck by the abundance of Lophocolea bispinosa along the forest tracks on the hike up there

  2. There's also a large population of L. bispinosa on Maesteg Tip, which is not far from where you were.
    Happy to take you, or anybody else, up the Rhyd-y-gau valley. There's also another little valley nearby that should be explored. I suggest leaving it until Spring, or at least until the streams have calmed down a bit. Some of the bits we haven't explored are tricky at the moment.

  3. Sounds like a plan to me...
    Only after entering yesterday's data this am did I realise that Sam had already been up Darren y Bannau - If I'd checked the spp list rather than just the square total, I'd have saved myself a walk. I never added anything significant to his list and missed a few spp of interest including Huperzia, but did manage to take the total over 60, but could have achieved this much easier if I'd just stopped at a local stream bridge.

  4. Sounds a fantastic area - please let me know if you do plan an outing.

  5. Ah yes, that's the site where I first found Lophocolea bispinosa. Sorry!