Ptyxis Ecology - Our Botany Blog

Monday, 13 August 2007

Tetraplodon mnioides

I was just about to finish botanising at Bellcrag Flow yesterday when I came accross Tetraplodon mnioides growing among mosses in the drain at the side of a forestry track. Even to people who never notice mosses this is a very striking species. Unfortunately none of my photos of it were in focus.

Nationally it is quite uncommon, although more frequent in bogs and heaths in the north and west. It has a very interesting life cycle. It grows on the bones of dead animals or sometimes on dung. The spores are dispersed by flies. The spore capsules give off a scent of rotting animal which is attractive to flies. They pick up the spores and deposit them on the next rotting animal they visit.


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At 3 October 2007 at 07:39 , Blogger Dave said...

Hey John,
I remember now that we found this species on the Kindrogan field course:

It always amazes me when bryophytes and fungi manage to mimic the smell of a dead animal - cunning evolution or what!


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