A Bouquet of Bryophytes: Thanks, Peter Lindelauf for sharing these delicate botanical beauties.

A Bouquet of Bryophytes: Thanks, Peter Lindelauf for sharing these delicate botanical beauties.

Originally shared by Peter Lindelauf

Botanical Wonders I Have Known

Fairy Parasols is the common name for Splachnum rubrum. Those aren’t flowers in the photos (a bouquet for Rajini Rao) but the fruiting bodies of a bryophyte. The photos may actually show two species–the pale, green Sphlachnum luteum and the pomegranate red Splachnum rubrum. However, the former ‘usually’ grows on moose droppings while the latter grows only on owl pellets. Imagine that. So, it would be odd to have both species in the same microsite.

I don’t miss forestry work but I do miss the plants of the boreal forest. I told the guy I subcontracted for, “I know we’re supposed to be doing industrial forestry but I’m just here for the flowers.” That got a laugh but it was true. I always stopped to smell the Rosa acicularis, as well.

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21 Responses to A Bouquet of Bryophytes: Thanks, Peter Lindelauf for sharing these delicate botanical beauties.

  1. Rajini Rao says:


    Prabat parmal , I studied botany too, many years ago. Your memory is good. I’m guessing the last one you mentioned is Lycopersicum esculentum (without googling)..which sounds like a tomato to me. Hope I’m right 🙂

  2. Rajini Rao says:


    Botany lesson of the day (Just for fun): when writing a Latin name, the first one is the genus and second is species. Never capitalize the second name and put the whole name in italics. So, Pisum sativum , not Pisum Sativum. Peter Lindelauf did it right, but I see card carrying scientists who get it wrong 🙂


  3. Those are literally some of the most beautiful plants I have ever seen!!

  4. Rajini Rao says:


    John B , bryophytes include some of the loveliest ferns and mosses. They are a botanical curiosity because they don’t make flowers. Instead, they have male sperm that must swim in water to get to the egg.

  5. Rajini Rao says:


    Feisal Kamil , I see! However, that image may be too hot for my audience to handle 😉

  6. Rajini Rao says:


    The best flowers grow from the smelliest compost, Prabat parmal ! Manure makes the best fertilizer. Nature’s way of recycling 🙂

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    A rose on guano? (Assuming the riddle is connected to the conversation immediately preceding!)

  8. Rajini Rao says:


    Ahem, Feisal Kamil , let’s keep G+ G rated 🙂

  9. Rajini Rao says:


    LOL, Feisal Kamil, what a relief 😉


  10. Belissima foto e gostei do conhecimento

  11. Eric Scott says:


    Are these spores animal dispersed? What’s with the showy capsules?


  12. belissmas flowers, and enjoyed the knowledge!!

  13. Rajini Rao says:


    Gorgeous pictures, Peter Lindelauf , thank you! More detailed info on etymology on Peter’s post, for anyone interested. Eric Scott raised a good point: if spores are distributed by water (as I had said), rather than by animals, what would be the evolutionary advantage of the bright red color? So I did a quick google on it, and to my surprise, Splachnum is unusual in the method of spore dispersal: “Splachnum ampullaceum is a member of a family unique among the mosses because of specialized substrate requirements and mode of spore dispersal. Steere listed the odd habitat specialization and capsule structure in this family, the Splachnaceae, as representing one of four distinct evolutionary lines in mosses. Numerous taxa in the family are restricted to the dung of mammals, organically enriched soils, or other organic debris, such as skeletal remains or regurgitated stomach pellets of owls. The spores of a number of taxa are apparently transported by flies. S. ampullaceum is normally limited to cold temperate latitudes.”


    Another site put it a bit less elegantly: “Flies are attracted to the capsule by its smell. The spores stick to the flies’ feet and are soon dispersed to another load of #@%&”!

  14. Eric Scott says:


    Cool. Makes sense if they only grow on mosse droppings!


  15. Beautiful, I didn’t even know about Fairy Parasols (what a delightfully apt name, it’s like something from Anne of Green Gables!). Thanks for sharing this Peter Lindelauf and Rajini Rao.


  16. all this beauty are fungi???

  17. Eric Scott says:


    edisseia politano Not fungi, but plants. Bryophytes include mosses and liverworts.

  18. Xaib Uddin says:


    WOW awesome i haven’t seen every like this flowers before


  19. Eric Scott, thanks for the information, and even beautiful nature

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