Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Sphagnum quinquefarium in Glamorgan

Sphagnum quinquefarium in the Sychryd Valley

It is odd that we don't have many records of Sphagnum quinquefarium in Glamorgan, since there are lots of steep Sessile Oak woodlands in the county that look suitable for this ancient woodland species. This site is only just in VC41, being on the Glamorgan side of the Sychryd Valley (SN91580800) and not far from where we saw it in the Mellte Valley a few weeks ago. Some plants were a striking pink colour (see photo) and stood out even for people with compromised colour vision. Nearby, some Marsupella emarginata var. emarginata on a wet, vertical, sandstone outcrop with Saccogyna viticulosa and Lejeunea cavifolia was the only other highlight.
During a quick trip up the Pyrddin Valley to Sgwd Gwladys to photograph Anoectangium aestivans and Breutelia chrysocoma, we recorded Lejeunea patens, L. lamacerina and L. cavifolia in the vicinity of the waterfall. A rotten log there had a mixture of Riccardia palmata, R. multifida and Odontoschisma denudatum

Anoectangium aestivans, Sgwd Gwladys

Breutelia chrysocoma, Sgwd Gwladys


  1. I recall recording quinquefarium in that part of the Sychryd several years ago .. It Looks as though there may be some records that havent made it into the Glam database .. Hopefully they were sent to BRC. Although I no longer have the NRW data files for this area, I may have a copy of a recording card if one was filled in ... I'll have a search this weekend.

  2. Very nice record Charles - did you see any evidence of the Limestone exposure mentioned to you by Quentin? I've just checked and the geology map does show a small amount in Glamorgan near where you found the Sphagnum.
    Graham, good to know there are more records to come from that area, please do pass any records my way and I'll check to see if they're in our MapMate dataset.

  3. There is a significant outcrop of limestone called Bwa Maen that is on the Glam side of the Sychryd river, which could be accessed from Craid y Ddinas. But I think that area is private land. I'm not sure how Quentin accessed it. We took the route across the little bridge near the silica mine where the rock outcrop is predominantly sandstone, and the flora reflects that.
    I'm not surprised that the Sphagnum had been recorded there before. It's an obvious patch in typical habitat and it's next to the path. The valley upstream looks interesting on both sides, but we didn't have time to explore much of it. It would be great if Graham could find his records for this valley.