In the end most of the interest of the day centred on non-flowering plants, beginning with rustyback, Asplenium ceterach, on walls, and then moving through other ferns and also clubmosses (at least one member of the group was also looking at the bryophytes as well). Maidenhair spleenwort, Asplenium trichomanes, has several subspecies; ssp. quadrivalens is typically found on walls where mortar leads to base-rich conditions while ssp. trichomanes is more typical of acidic habitats. We found a putative hybrid between the two, much more vigorous and larger than usual. We also spent some time looking at the male-ferns, Dryopteris spp., in order to identify the different species, including (I think) D. oreades, mountain male-fern, D. affinis, scaly male-fern and D. borreri, Borrer's scaly male-fern. I must admit I am not very confident in the identification of all of these, but one of the benefits of spending a day out with other botanists is always the chance to learn more about the species you encounter and Friday was no exception - especial thanks to Wendy, Martin and Paul.
|Maidenhair spleenwort, Asplenium trichomanes - putative hybrid between subspecies?|
|Stag's-horn clubmoss, Lycopodium clavatum|
|View from the quarry down Cwm Penmachno|
|Flooded quarry lake|