Asplenium trichomanes ssp pachyrachis var subequale  Maidenhair Spleenwort RRR DDD N

Asplenium trichomanes ssp pachyrachis var subequale

This variety of Asplenium trichomanes ssp pachyrachis had been determined var subequale by experts before we arrived to see it on our Teesdale Wild Flower Society trip. It was perched at about 8 feet above the river level and to get to it we had to scramble over dead wood and wet rocks. If the River Tees had been a bit fuller, access would have been very difficult if not impossible. As it was this photo was taken holding the camera at full stretch above my head and trusting to the auto focus which seems to have worked reasonably well.

The commonest Maidenhair spleenwort found on basic rocks (Asplenium trichomanes ssp quadrivalens ) is easy enough to recognise but if you suspect you might be looking at one of the rarer sub species such as this then a closer examination of leaflets (pinnae) and rachis (central leaf rib) would be necessary.

In ssp pachyrachis according to Stace the rachis is thinner (not what you might think from the name pachyrachis) and the leaflets more oblong in shape and serrated but you would have to study these sub species more closely than I have ever done to be sure. The beauty of being taken on official botanical trips is that experts have done the hard identification work for you and you can simply take photos and nod wisely.

There are a few stations in England and Wales where this plant has been recorded but none in Scotland or Ireland.

Riverside rock, River Tees 21st June 2005

Added on August 29th 2005, updated 17th October 2008, updated 28th Feb 2010, updated Se3 26th April 2010, 20th May 12

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