An Interesting Experiment With Riccardia

by Chuck Nishihira

Some of the best and lowest growing carpets of bryophytes require a blend of bright lights, damp substrate, and high humidity.   Many times the overall humidity in our terrariums are too high, resulting in the bryophytes willingness to leave the safety of the substrate and venture up into open spaces.  The result isn’t always that attractive.  In the first photo is the liverwort Riccardia just starting to establish itself on some damp sphagnum.  The nice branching of this species and the lateral growth can be seen.  This same culture was sealed up tightly.  After a few months not only is the upward growth off the substrate evident but surprisingly the branching has also stopped.  While some may find this attractive, I still prefer the tight and low spreading carpets that Riccardia is so good at creating.