Monday, 30 January 2017

Swamp Cypress epiphytes in Gorseinon

Alfie's walk (in fact barely a shuffle these days) in the rain today was along a line of trees on Miller's Drive, which I think are Taxodium distichum (but could be Metasequoia glyptostroboides - I'll check one day). The trunks were exceptionally mossy for such a new and exposed location and included a few species you wouldn't normally expect to find on bark. I only checked a handful of trees, so I'll be back another day to see if I can add to this mildly intriguing list...
Bryum capillare
Ceratodon purpureus
Cololejeunea minutissima
Cryphaea heteromalla
Frullania dilatata
Hypnum andoi
Metzgeria furcata
Orthotrichum affine
Orthotrichum diaphanum
Orthotrichum pulchellum
Orthotrichum stramineum
Rhynchostegiella tenella
Syntrichia laevipila
Syntrichia cf. montana (bottom photo - unless laevipila can be this spiny? the rosettes looked different too, so throwing this one out for opinion really)
Syntrichia papillosa
Syntrichia ruralis var. ruralis (small and a bit odd looking, see middle pics below, so happy to be corrected)
Tortula muralis
Ulota phyllantha
Zygodon conoideus


  1. It's worth chopping some of those Syntrichia in case of virescens.

  2. Syntrichia ruralis is a frequent epiphyte in some parts of England and I've seen it occasionally as an epiphyte in south Wales. S montana would be more surprising, but S laevipila has smooth hairpoints.

    There are some epiphyte-laden Cypresses by the Scalaqua at NBGW which I've walked past 100 times but never checked in detail.

  3. How nice to have an avenue of Dawn Redwood/ Swamp Cypress. They can be told apart in winter by the arrangement of their buds (which give rise to the leaf-bearing side shoots). Dawn Redwood (Metaseqoia) has buds arranged in opposite pairs. The buds of Swamp Cypress (Taxodium) are alternate.

  4. I think in that case Charles they are probably Dawn Redwood as some of the twigs are definitely opposite - thanks.
    Not sure why I dismissed S. virescens so readily as it looks a good option - I'll revisit my sample tomorrow...

  5. S.montana is correct based on cell measurements - I need some new blades to do sections of any use!