Thursday, 9 June 2016

Orthotrichum pallens - a surprise from NE Wales

During my visit to Clwyd last week I collected an interesting-looking Orthotrichum from a Sycamore on the calcareous lead mine we were surveying.  Its orange-tipped, hairless calyptrae looked good for O. pallens, although I have recently been fooled by forms of O. stramineum so I wasn't too hopeful.  To my relief, a microscope check revealed nicely exposed cryptopore stomata, and removing a ripe capsule's lid released a peristome with 16 endostome teeth (8 in virtually all confusion species).  Hooray!

This is the second Welsh record following on from a few tufts on a Field Maple in a hedge at Dingestow, but given the rapid increase in this moss in England I'm sure it won't be the last Welsh record.