English name: Wilson’s Filmy-fern
Gaelic name: Raineach Còinnich
Atlas of Ferns:
Pre 1950 record: NG41.
Post 1950 records: Recorded in all other hectads except NG36.
British Pteridophyte Records:
The Fern Gazette Volume 12, Part 5, (1983): NG41 H. J. B. Birks.
Botanist in Skye: Recorded in all hectads except NG23 and NG36.
1950-1969: NG15, 37, 56.
1970-1986: NG14, 33, 35, 36, 42, 50.
1987-1999: Recorded in all other hectads.
Altitude distribution on Skye
Hymenophyllum wilsonii is found on damp, shady rocks, and trunks and bases of trees it is much more common than H. tunbrigense. In Rodwell (ed.) (1991) it occurs in the W17a community and in Birks (1973) it occurs in the Asplenium trichomanes-Fissidens dubius, Betula pubescens-Cirsium heterophyllum, Betula pubescens-Vaccinium myrtillus, Corylus avellana-Oxalis acetosella, Luzula sylvatica-Vaccinium myrtillus, Oxalis acetosella-Rhytidadelphus loreus, Rhacomitreto-Empetretum and Sedum rosea-Alchemilla glabra Associations.
In Birks (1973) there are long lists of Bryophytes and Lichens that occur with H. wilsonii and in Table 4.53 there is a list of the epiphytes growing on the trunks and bases of trees in mixed birch/hazel woods, interestingly Hymenophyllum wilsonii grows on birch but not hazel.
Averis and James (2002) record that Scapania gracilis, Plagiochila spinulosa and Hymenophyllum wilsonii together with Bazzania trilobata, Saccogyna viticulosa and Isothecium myosuroides commonly form medium-sized cushions/patches on acidic to mildly basic rock faces and tree bases in woodland. This community is common in woods (and occasional on open hill slopes) in the W Highlands, W Ireland, Galloway, Lake District and N Wales, with rather similar communities in woods in SW Norway and probably NW France and W Iberia. This community is part of what defines NVC type W17a.
H. tunbrigense and wilsonii occasionally grow together as a mixed community and then the entire lip of the indusium in H. wilsonii is the best way of distinguishing the two species rather than relying on the colour of the leaves..