Friday Flora – moss

I’ve been googling Scottish moss, trying to find a reliable, easy guide so that I can identify some of the species I saw while staying in Arisaig (Lochaber, on the west coast) this week and I’ve just got more and more confused…

There are nearly 1000 species of moss and liverwort in Scotland. They seem to be everywhere on the west coast, forming beautiful fuzzy patchworks over rocks and trees, I’d love to be able to identify them, and drop their names casually into conversations as they have common names only rivalled by the moth world: Dwarf Hair Cap, Anomalous Bristle moss, Intermediate Screw moss, Cow Horn Bog moss, Taylor’s Flapwort, Toothed Pouncewort…

And then there are lichens. Oh crikey, you need a hand lens, a tame botanist and a lot of time to BEGIN to get to grips with all these plants.

Anyway I think this may be Common Hair Cap or Polytrichum commune. But don’t quote me on that, I could be mosstaken.

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