Wednesday, 1 March 2017

SN71K square bash

As a birthday treat, I spent the morning looking at a short section of the Afon Llynfell and stopped for quick searches on a couple of nearby coal tips. The tips weren't particularly exciting, though Ptilidium ciliare was locally frequent. Similarly, the riparian woodland of the Llynfell was unremarkable, though should return a decent total once the records are entered and tallied. However, the most interesting observation of the day was a lovely colony of Grimmia orbicularis (I've not checked the book yet, but I'm not aware of any lookalikes?) - I'm not sure what compelled me to stop, but somehow it just looked different to other Grimmia-topped walls as I was driving along Coedffaldau SN74461141. The wall was capped with a coarse concrete mix and the main associates were Schistidium crassipilum and G. pulvinata, with smaller amounts of S. apocarpum, Tortula muralis, Syntrichia montana, Bryum capillare, Orthotrichum anomalum, Homalothecium sericeum and Barbula sardoa. I didn't count the tufts, but there must be in excess of 50. Fresh tufts G. pulvinata were obviously brighter green, though older ones were quite similar to orbicularis and I wasn't sure about some of the non-fruiting intermediates.
 southern-most plants noted, the colony extending close to the end of the wall in the distance


  1. That looks like a similar concrete to the low wall in central Llandeilo that supports similar-looking Grimmia orbicularis. I have seen similar colonies on walls in Ireland (a couple of times) and western Anglesey. Our Victorian and Edwardian forebears knew scattered colonies of G. orbicularis in various other localities in NW Wales and inland in England, and the loss of these has contributed to G orbicularis being red-listed. This species certainly isn't anything like as common as G pulvinata and I assume it cannot cope with the hard cement that G pulvinata colonises so readily.