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Yes indeed, I can see that it is heath rush now. I clearly need to spend a bit more time on this group....
...on grasses, rushes and sedges, and came out none the wiser!
Well, not much the wiser.
How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
Yes, I did the Sussex Wildlife Trust grasses, sedges, and rushes weekend a year or two ago. It was fascinating, but I do struggle a bit with them still.
But not nearly as much as with moss.
I can see leaf like bracts extending beyond the flower heads. This is not expected in J. squarrosus.
Yes, this is why I think it is J. tenuis. The habitat is totally wrong for J. squarrosus. Also, by this time of year J. squarrosus has big, black spherical capsules.
I've looked at a few more specimens in the woods now and had a proper read of Francis Rose too, so agree that J. tenuis is most likely. I se lots of it on the edges of the sandy pathways through the woods.
mosses and liverworts will be the next frontier when I've cracked grasses and sedges.
There's a handful of species I'm beginning to feel reasonably confident with, but I've now (at 48) got to the point where short focussing, especially with a hand lens is really rather annoyingly hard, so keying out anything small is a bit of a pain.
Also, trying to do it from scratch with no input some someone on hand who has even slightly better knowledge than me is a bit challenging.
Everyone needs their own local bryologist.
...but I can't agree more about the importance of having a "buddy" when you are learning or practicing plant ID.
I've come on in leaps and bounds this year, through going out with my botany "crew": we each have some knowledge, (although none of us consider ourselves "experts") and we all help each other.
If you can't find a local botany group, even going out with an interested friend is better than going alone (especially for women, for safety). It's amazing how you can see the ID characteristics more clearly, with someone else to talk to about it.
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