Thursday, 27 October 2011

sphagnum research....

"There is nothing on earth like this moss for it has its own special appearance, nor does anything quite like it spring up in damp, swampy places"
this is the translation from the latin of the introduction to the 1880 book 'The Sphagnaceae or peat-mosses of Europe and North America' by R.Braithwaite

Beautiful etchings from Braithwaite book
Variety of Sphagna from around my house

I have been reading in the library at SHH headquarters in Inverness, Great Glen house, researching about this moss and learning to identify it in the field and becoming aware of the huge diversity in the landscape. Learning to see anew.
Interesting fact - There are 34 different species of Sphagna in Scotland
Interesting fact - The cells of Sphagna fill with water and then dry out when there is no water, in Herbaria one sample of Sphagna 80 years old came back to life when water was added in order to look at under the microscope.

Sphagna on the lightbox 

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