Plants of the Mosses

Oval: Return to
 Moss page
                               The acidic and nutrient-poor conditions of the rainwater-
                               fed raised bog dome can be tolerated by only a small number of
                               specialist bog plants and  animals.

                               From the boundary of the Mosses, pass through the marginal alder woodland, 1960s pine forests or wet pastureland on shallow drained peat. Follow through birch woodland and scrub on drained abandoned peat cuttings and fields, spectacular in hoar frosts. Look out for red and black berries on alder buckthorn, food plant of caterpillars of our yellow brimstone butterfly.

Emerge into the central quiet wilderness of peat cuttings under their expansive open skies.

Cranberries spangle autumn bogmoss carpets
Wet areas nurture internationally important bog. Much survives which has been lost from smaller equally damaged sites: 92 species of mosses and liverworts include rare wavy forked moss and rare golden bogmoss, here one of 13 types of Sphagnum. Locally scarce bog rosemary, a true raised bog dweller, thrives on the Mosses. On Fennís Moss, cloudberry grows at one of three Welsh sites, and at Wem Moss, great and oblong-leaved sundew survive.

Pools with floating feathery bogmoss turn white in spring with fluffy flowers of red-leaved common cotton sedge and green needle-leaved hare's-tail cotton sedge. In deep pools, the once common yellow-flowered lesser bladderwort supplements its rainwater diet with water fleas.
 
Round-leaved sundew
On old hand-cuts, relict lawns of chunky bright-green papillose bogmoss, russet Magellanic bogmoss, tiny pink-flowered cranberry, golden-flowered bog asphodel, tiny bead-flowered white-beaked sedge and glistening insect-eating round-leaved sundew tell of better days. On low hummocks spot the delicate red bogmoss, and grey-green cross-leaved heath, whose pretty bell-shaped flowers colour the Mosses pink in June. August then sees dark-green heather turning dry peat purple. 

Bracken and birch give glowing autumn hues to dried-out areas, and swathes of purple moor-grass bleach the winter landscape white.

Bog rosemary     Sphagnum moss     Lesser bladderwort