Fairy Beads and Goblin Gold

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Tuesday, 15 November 2011 06:19

Today I am running a new course at Woods Mill being: 'An Introduction to Woodland Bryophytes'. I am quite looking forward to it and yesterday I went out into Hoe Wood to look for additional species to show the attendees, I wasn't expecting to get three ticks out of it. Firstly though, I found some of one of my favourite liverworts. Not all that scarce down here but a smart little thing, ridiculously little in fact. It's English name is Fairy Beads Microlejeunea ulicina. The leaves are a fraction of a millimetre across. It looks like green dust to the naked eye. This is not a new species for me but it illustrates a point. This is perhaps the only English name of a bryophyte that I use and know (apart from the rare Goblin Gold that I am yet to see but is more of a western species I'm told). They are generally poor and uninspired, with a very taxonomic approach that fails to leave anything to the imagination.
The fungi in Hoe Wood are doing very well now with masses of Clouded Agaric including this 8 m ring. Also present were Aniseed Funnel, these Tawny Funnels, Buttercaps and plenty of Wood Blewits.
I then stumbled across a load of epiphytes in the centre of the wood including this strange thallose liverwort. It looked a little like the very common Metzgeria furcata but the branches were thinner, sticking out and were covered in gemmae at their tips. This species is Metzgeria fruticulosa and was new to me.
On the same branch was this orthotricale which due to the shape of the capsules had to be Ulota bruchii. That leaves me on 3682 species.

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