Hainault Forest Website

Written, Designed and Photographed by Brian Ecott



A fallen hornbeam trunk without bark is showing green patches of a leafy liverwort which on examination shows two rows of tiny leaves. The leaves are entire at the tip of stem with lower leaves bidentate or two toothed. This is Lophocolea heterophylla (Variable leaved crestwort).  8th April 2015.
Close up of Lophocolea showing several capsules containing spores, and others that have released their spores. Photo   Michael Rumble 15th April 2015.

L. heterophylla has bidentate leaves which change to more rounded leaves  towards the tip of the branch.


L. bidentata has bidentate leaves to the tip of the branch.



A tiny leafy liverwort Lophocolea heterophylla is found in damp woodland on rotting hornbeam. The leaves appear as two ranks along the stem. The white stems carry the capsules. Both young and old capsules can be seen above.  Picture 6 cm. across. Two species of Lophocolea grow in similar habitats and are often mixed together. The leaf shapes on the stem, using a good hand lens or microscope,  will separate them.
Tiny liverwort Lophocolea bidentata above growing on rotting log along Cavill's walk. Below is a small sample on a piece of wood measuring 2 cms. Each of the leaves  along the stem have two teeth, hence "bidentata". Photo and scan Brian Ecott  5th March 2017





Lophocolea semiteres has overlapping, rounded leaves.

An alien liverwort from the southern hemisphere, Lophocolea semiteres first recorded in Hainault Forest 4th April 2004. Growing on rotting hornbeam.  Also found in Epping Forest it is larger than L.bidentata and L.heterophylla.

A small patch of green (arrowed) on a gnarled ash tree alongside Sheepwater was on closer inspection a liverwort.  24th March 2015. The patch was measured as 4.5cm across and was identified as FORKED VEILWORT Metzgeria furcata a common lowland species found especially in association with Ash trees.   Photo  Michael Rumble  8th March 2015.

VEILED VEILWORT Metzgeria furcata has thin strips of tissue known as thalli and each thallus (singular) is approx 1mm in width and can be seen in the centre of the picture above to divide into two (bifurcate). It has a thickened midrib. Photo   Michael Rumble   8th March 2015.

Tiny liverwort Metzgeria furcata on hawthorn (above). The lobe ends divide into two. Shows quite well in top right of this picture.

Photo Brian Ecott. 2nd March 2017.

Metzgeria furcata on Ash tree at Sheepwater. The small patch of Forked veilwort liverwort on the Ash found last year is still looking healthy.

13th March 2016. Photo Brian Ecott

On the bank of the lake inflow from the Common is a mass of Liverwort. (See below)  8th February 2015.

A close up of the plant shows it to be  CRESCENT CUP LIVERWORT  Lunularia cruciata. The name refers to its Moon shape cups (above right) which contain disc-like gemmae which get washed out of the cups and grow into new plants..Often present as a weed of greenhouses and flower pots, this large thalloid liverwort is found on banks and rides in woodland. This specimen was found on the bank of a feeder stream of the Lake.

The light green liverwort growing at the water's edge of  the lake inflow stream  (above left) is shown in close up (above right). In the middle of some of the lobes is a half moon shape called a gemmae cup which is moon shape giving the liverwort the name CRESCENT CUP Lunularia cruciata.

14th March 2017  Photos Brian Ecott and Raymond Small.


EVEN SCALEWORT Radula complanata on hawthorn scrub near the lake. 4th December 2016. Photo and scans Brian Ecott.  With thanks to Dr. Kenneth Adams, Recorder of Botany and Bryophytes, Essex Field Club, for the identification. Although widespread in UK it is the first time that I have seen it here.
Tiny liverwort Radula complanata on hawthorn. Above  close up showing tiny yellow-green gemmae which line the edges of the fronds. These break off to form new plants. Photo and scan Brian Ecott 5th March 2017.  

Liverwort Frullania dilatata growing on several trunks of Ash trees growing on the old Reservoir site, Hog Hill. With thanks to Dr. Kenneth Adams,  Recorder of Flowering Plants and Bryophytes, Essex Field Club for his help in  the procedures necessary to determine the identity. 18th February 2018. Brian Ecott.

1. Patch of liverwort approx 5 cm across on Ash tree,  2. Close up of upper part of liverwort. 3. Close up Scan of underside, lateral leaves rounded