From green slime to feathery beauty

Flanders Moss NNR / Blawhorn Moss NNR

A walk around the boardwalks at both Flanders and Blawhorn will give you a view of one of the indicatyors of our recovering bogs. They might all look the same to you at first but different bog-mosses grow in different conditions and some when a bog is recovering their presences or absence tells us something about what is going on. Feathery bog-moss or Sphagnum cuspidatum to give it its scientisfic name, is a bright green feathery, almost fluffy sphagnum that is the most aquatic of the bog-mosses.

When it first starts to appear it looks a bit disgusting, like a ball of green slime. But gradually the plant structure appears and it becomes a thing of beauty to behold as you wander along the paths.

But it is a double bonus because when ditches are first blocked and pools form, it is the first sphagnum that invades the open water, a pioneer species that gradually it fills up the pools and ditches. In filling up the ditches it holds back water so making the bog even wetter. So when taking a walk around the boardwalks look out for this feathery wonder and be glad that it is taking hold as it tells you the bog restoration is going in the right direction.

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1 Response to From green slime to feathery beauty

  1. peigimccann says:

    Truly a bryologist’s paradise!

    Like

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