Bryophytes - Mosses & Liverworts

Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) are small flowerless plants that are prone to drying out because of their size. They therefore grow best in humid conditions and the moist and sheltered microclimate within the Fen suits them well. They are generally not very good at growing on soil amongst other vegetation but the Fen has an excellent assortment of 'epiphytic bryophytes' which grow on the bark of trees. Many of these produce fragments called 'gemmae' at the tips of the leaves or branches which are washed off by rain and grow into new plants.

Orthotrichum pulchellum, a neat cushion-forming epiphyte, enjoying the conditions of the Fen and fruiting abundantly

Cryphaea heteromalla (moss) with the characteristic fertile branches that grow out from the surface.

Ulota phyllantha, a cushion-forming moss with clusters of brownish gemmae at the tips of the leaves.

Cololejuenea minutissima, perhaps the smallest liverwort on the Fen, with the flat branches of Metzgeria furcata (a thallose liverwort).

Metzgeria violacea, an intricate thallose liverwort with clusters of green gemmae at the tips of the branches.

Radula complanata, a leafy liverwort growing flat against the bark.

This list was produced in a couple of hours wandering around the Fen, so undoubtedly there is more to find.

Amblystegium serpens  ( Creeping Feather-moss)
Brachythecium populeum  ( River Feather-moss)
Brachythecium rutabulum   (Rough-stalked Feather-moss)
Bryum capillare  ( Capillary Thread-moss)
Cirriphyllum piliferum  ( Hair-pointed Feather-moss)
Cryphaea heteromalla  ( Lateral Cryphaea)
Didymodon insulanus  ( Cylindric Beard-moss)
Eurhynchium hians  ( Swartz's Feather-moss)
Eurhynchium praelongum  ( Common Feather-moss)
Homalothecium sericeum  ( Silky Wall Feather-moss)
Hypnum cupressiforme  ( Cypress-leaved Plait-moss)
Hypnum resupinatum  ( Supine Plait-moss)
Isothecium myosuroides  ( Slender Mouse-tail Moss)
Leptodictyum riparium  ( Kneiff's Feather-moss)
Orthotrichum affine  ( Wood Bristle-moss)
Orthotrichum diaphanum   (Diaphanous Bristle-moss)
Orthotrichum lyellii  ( Lyell's Bristle-moss)
Orthotrichum pulchellum   (Elegant Bristle-moss)
Plagiothecium succulentum  ( Juicy Silk-moss)
Rhynchostegium confertum  ( Clustered Feather-moss)
Syntrichia laevipila  ( Small Hairy Screw-moss)
Ulota bruchii  ( Bruch's Pincushion)
Ulota phyllantha  ( Frizzled Pincushion)
Zygodon conoideus  ( Lesser Yoke-moss)
Zygodon viridissimus var. viridissimus  ( Green Yoke-moss)
Liverworts Cololejeunea minutissima   (Minute Pouncewort)
Frullania dilatata  ( Dilated Scalewort)
Lophocolea bidentata  ( Bifid Crestwort)
Lophocolea heterophylla  ( Variable-leaved Crestwort)
Metzgeria violacea  ( Blueish Veilwort)
Metzgeria furcata  ( Forked Veilwort)
Metzgeria consanguinea  ( Whiskered Veilwort)
Microlejeunea ulicina  ( Fairy Beads)
Radula complanata  ( Even Scalewort)