Lower plants of the wet west

Lobaria pulmonaria, or lungwort, is a common lichen in Ferry Wood. It is one of many “lower” or non-flowering plants that flourish her in the wet, cool climate and indicate that we are in temperate rainforest.

However, the Rhododendron ponticum

– planted in Victorian times as cover – threatens to shade them out and we are working hard this year to dig out the last stand. As we cut out the biggest shrubs and count the rings, they are around 22 years old, suggesting that the area was cleared around 25 years ago but then left to grow back once more (a common occurrence unfortunately).

It has settled in to both woodland and moorland ecosystems and will be impossible to eradicate throughout the whole of the country, but in areas such as ours, with rare assemblages of mosses, liverworts, ferns, fungi as well as lichens, we need to do this work.

The lungwort is growing on an oak trunk which we discovered while clearing a thick stand of rhododendron. It now receives the right amount of light to do well again.



About edwardtyler

I live in Kintyre, the long peninsula acting as a natural breakwater for the Firth of Clyde, west of Glasgow. A Permaculture and Transition practitioner, I am working with fellow community activists to co-create a resilient and vibrant local bioregion.

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