My target was the west (VC41) bank of the River Rhymney north of Llanedern Bridge. I looked at a short section south of the bridge a year ago but only managed 30 taxa, so wanted to try and bump this up a bit. The usual range of flood zone bryophytes was present, including plenty of fruiting Leskea polycarpa. Of more interest to me were some large patches of fruiting Fissidens crassipes on riverbank rocks (convincing microscopically, with cell and peristome measurements within the ranges given in Smith), the first time I've seen this species on the local rivers.
A patch of knotweed on the riverbank had been chemically treated, allowing bryophytes to flourish on the newly-created bare ground. Both Riccia glauca and R. sorocarpa were present here.
The best was still to come though. Across the track from the river was a large, grassy arable field and here, along with more crystalworts, were two species of hornwort: large male and female rosettes of Phaeoceros laevis and much smaller rosettes of Anthoceros with well developed horns. Frustratingly, try as I might, I couldn't find any male organs on the Anthoceros sample I brought home, so it will have to go down as Anthoceros sp. (though it's very likely to be A. agrestis as the rosettes were small). Other typical arable bryos were also abundant: Ephemerum minutissimum, Dicranella scherberiana, Trichodon cylindricus and Tortula truncata.
|Phaeoceros laevis (female)|
|Phaeoceros laevis (male)|
|Phaeoceros laevis (male organs)|