Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Hercynian Haircap

Oligotrichum hercynicum (Hercynian Haircap) with Pogonatum aloides, Blaengwynfi

This is a relatively common species in quarries and along forestry roads in the uplands of NPT, where it often grows with other pioneers species such as Ditrichum heteromallum, Pogonatum aloides, Pogonatum urnigerum, Diplophyllum albicansNardia scalaris and Solenostoma gracillimum.  Most colonies are barren, but very occasionally we see it in fruit. 

Oligotrichum hercynicum in fruit, Bwlch Forest

It is a conspicuous, vivid green moss, difficult to miss and the rather local distribution pattern indicated by current records in the database may be misleading. My guess is that it is scattered throughout the coniferised uplands of VC41, so it's worth targeting in the coming season. Perhaps its apparent absence from Gower is real, or a challenge for Barry!

Distribution of Oligotrichum hercynicum in Glamorgan (Map Mate records, 1km squares)

And while we're on the subject, Ditrichum heteromallum also appears to be rather local or perhaps under recorded in VC41 and apparently absent from Gower. Now is a good time to see it in fruit, which makes its identification a bit easier (at least for me).

Ditrichum heteromallum, Crynant Forest track (29/8/16)

Distribution of Ditrichum heteromallum in Glamorgan (Map Mate records, 1km squares)


  1. Lovely photos as always Charles and good to see more signs of blog activity now we're coming out of the summer diapause. I think I'd do well to find either species on the peninsula (though you never know) but did record both in SN60 last winter. Not sure when our last sync was, but you should receive them next time.

  2. How nice to see a new blog post, thanks Charles.

    As it's quite a distinctive species I don't suppose it has been overlooked in the NE uplands, but perhaps the right kind of habitat hasn't received much survey effort yet. It would be interesting to see Sam's map for VC35.