Saturday 4 September 2010

Sphagnum mosses

Walking over wet boggy ground, it is impossible not to notice the green (and sometimes red) hummocks of moss. These are almost always one or more or several species of Sphagnum or bog mosses. There are 34 different species in Britain, 22 of which occur on Islay. Identification often has to include use of a hand lens or even a microscope. Here are two that I am fairly certain about, but only fairly!
Sphagnum capillifolium (red bog moss)
S. capillifolium is the reddest of them all, but beware S.magellanicum which usually has rather smaller, denser shoots. S. palustre is usually a very bright green (but may be yellow-brown, especially in winter)


Spagnum palustre (blunt-leaved bog moss)

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