Mosses and Monilophytes hike

On the previous Thursday I has said to bring no books on Tuesday. The class left A101 at 3:30 and headed directly into the field, no roll call taken, no hand-outs, just out into the field on a sunny day in January.

Tuesday the class looked at moss on a nearby tree that also featured two types of lichens.

On the way to the trailhead the class had previously stopped to examine Psilotum nudum located just to the south of the agriculture building in a hidden valley. This was a new addition to the hike spring 2009. Because psilotum was "dumped" back in with the ferns in the new monilophyta classification, something I only learned fall 2009, I opted to skip the psilotum 2010. Only one small plant without cones was seen fall 2009 and the effort was not worth the gain in knowledge.


On top of the ridgeline

The class stopped on the ridgeline to view the lycopodium Lycopodiella cernua and the sun-loving fern Dicranopteris linearis.


Lycopodium is a member of the division Lycopodiophyta, the ferns are members of division Pteridophyta.

The class then paused at the top of the steep slope where Nephrolepis spp. and Thelypteris maemonensis were observed and discussed.

Local uses and meanings of these plants was also discussed, along with names in the local languages. The local names for Microsorum scolopendria, its use as a mwarmwar, and the function the plant had as a mwarmwar in protecting the dancer from soumwahuen eni were covered. A plant known locally as marekenleng was located on a tree, this plant is currently listed in the virtual herbarium as Asplenium polyodon. Also found atop the steep slope was Davallia solida (ulung en kieil). The term devolution was introduced as meaning a loss of language and of culture. Asplenium nidus was encountered as we descended the slope.

On the slope

Clambering down the slippery muddy slope, I located Vittaria on trees part-way down the slope.

Down in the forest I again found the epiphyte Huperzia phlegmaria. This term I did not locate the Psilotum complanatum, but I did find the Humata banksii on a different tree from the Huperzia phlegmaria. H. phlegmaria, however, appeared to be growing well both low and high on a tree off to the left. The mahrek en leng was still present both on the slope and in the valley.

In the valley

Father along the trail the class observed Cyathea nigricans.


I then took the class down to the river and up to the Antrophyum plantagineum. We reached the A. plantagineum around 16:20. The earlier arrival was due in part to skipping the Psilotum. No one said that they knew its name, no one indicated that they had seen this fern before. I then took role and dismissed the class.

This term all of the ferns were water stressed and drying out due to the moderate El Nino occurring at present.

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