Tiny land­scapes

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild December -

‘Or­di­nary’ seems a rather un­fair name for Brachythe­cium rutab­u­lum. The more de­scrip­tive al­ter­na­tive is rough-stalked feather moss. This lit­tle damp- and shade­lov­ing plant sud­denly trans­forms into a mini for­est when it pro­duces its sporo­phytes – the del­i­cate, stalk-like struc­tures that dis­perse its spores. Ho­ra­tio Clare, in his lat­est book, The Light in the Dark, com­pares the ef­fect to a “host of tiny green diplodoci stand­ing to­gether, their heads bent heavy on the ends of long necks.”

FIND OUT MORE Handy fold­out guide to mosses: field-stud­i­escoun­cil.org/pub­li­ca­tions

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