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)
This is a blog of natural history notes maintained and moderated by members of the management committee of the INHT: Fiona MacGillivray, Martin Armstrong, David Webster, Andrew Kent, Isobel Freeman, Bernard Hannett, Danielle Vessey and Alistair Hutchison, and our Centre Managers, Mandy and Gary.
We hope that many people, both those who live here and visitors, will contribute their notes and impressions of the natural world on Islay. Please send to:
Photographs, or even short video clips, are particularly welcome.
We look forward to hearing from you
Fiona MacGillivray, Chairperson
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