Sunday, 20 March 2016

Marchantia polymorpha ssp montivagans

I dropped in to Craig y Cilau NNR recently and happened to walk across an area of the raised bog that I may not have visited before - in a few small runnels were some nice patches of Marchantia polymorpha ssp. montivagans.  I have only seen it a couple of times - there is a small cluster of sites in the Crickhowell area.  I had a quick look at the NBN Gateway to get an idea of how many records there are in south Wales - unfortunately there seem to be quite a few BIS data inputting errors muddling the true picture.

I looked hard for this subspecies when recording in Carms - I once managed to convince myself that some material I found near Usk Reservoir was montivagans, but on drying it developed a black median line and turned out to be just typical ssp polymorpha!  When I saw the real thing for the first time it was quite striking - it is a much chunkier plant than polymorpha, with thalli almost twice as wide and rather thick and leathery.  A couple of pics below - unfortunately the plants had been frosted the night before, so not looking their best.

On a nearby willow was a single tuft of Ulota calvescens, which I think is new for the reserve and probably the furthest south-east I have seen it in Brecks.


1 comment:

  1. As yet unrecorded in Glamorgan, but surely there's a colony or two out there awaiting discovery. Some useful tips Graham, thanks