Silky Wall Feather-moss Homalothecium sericeum

Whilst walking long the Bewdley quayside in Severn Side South Ann Hill photographed this moss. In the hot weather it was drying out, but mosses soon revive when they are moistened by the next rain and this allows them to survive in dry situations. This species is commonly found on rocks and tree bark as well as man-made structures, especially where the substrate is base-rich.

Silky Wall Feather-moss Homalothecium sericeum, Bewdley quayside, 5 July 2017 ©Ann Hill

Frizzled Pincushion, Ulota phyllantha

Ann Hill pointed out this small delicate moss on the trunk of an oak tree. A brown nerve protrudes from the tip of each leaf and these are often surrounded by clusters of brown gamma. The leaves curl up when dry. This is not common in Wyre, so it was good to record it this week. It has increased in Britain in recent years.

Frizzled Pincushion Ulota phyllantha, New Parks, 3 May 2017 ©Rosemary Winnall

Bryophytes in Wyre

Winter is a good time to look out for mosses and liverworts in Wyre as they grow well in cool wet conditions, and many fruit during this time which helps identification. Good places to look are brooksides and tree trunks in stream valleys. But they can be found in all habitats as well as in gardens, on walls and fences.

Mosses: Common Tamarisk-moss Thuidium tamariscinum and Bank Haircap Polytrichastrum formosum, Postensplain, 28 March 2016 ©Rosemary Winnall

Moss Marsh Bryum, Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Pound Green Coppice, 28 March 2916 ©Rosemary Winnall

Liverwort Plagiochila asplenioides, Greater Featherwort, 22 Jan 2011 ©Rosemary Winnall

Winter tree bark

Winter is a good time to look closely at tree bark and and admire the mosses and lichens growing there. Bark crevices and leafy tufts provide good overwintering sites for some of our smallest creatures that are so important at the bottom of many of the forest food chains. Springtails, woodlice, spiders, fly and micro moth larvae, centipedes, millipedes are all lurking there, and if you are really lucky you may spot a Snow Flea at the bottom of a mossy trunk.Treecreepers forage for this food by moving up from the base of the tree (never downwards), often spiralling round the trunk before flying down to the bottom of the next tree, their delicately curved bills specially adapted for searching holes and crevices.

Mosses and lichens on birch bark, Wyre Forest, 23 January 2015