Smith, A.J.E., 1978
The Moss Flora of Britain & Ireland
The first comprehensive moss flora since Dixon and Jameson's Student's Handbook of 1924.
The artificial key to genera with 324 couplets is rather daunting and inexperienced readers may prefer to use Watson's "British Mosses and Liverworts", returning to the present flora to confirm the species. The generic keys are more manageable, although rely on dissection more than the Watson user might anticipate.
The species accounts are primarily morphological, but briefly mention ecology and distribution in Britain & Ireland and the world. A footnote often summarises how to distinguish the species from similar.
All but the rarest species are illustrated with copious line drawings, but it has to be said that these are often less convincing than those in Watson (- maybe they're drawn from life where Watson's are more generalised?)
||Cambridge University Press (CUP)
||0 521 2168 6
|Comments and Corrigenda
||An addendum on p687 adds Rhizonium magnifolium.
Generic key, p 9:
couplet 7, 2nd alternative should go to 8
couplet 8, 2nd alternative should go to 9
Without careful study of the legend, it isn't obvious which line drawing goes with which species (the figures in my copy are well covered in pencil lines!)
||All the 692 British species known at the time.
||Line drawings in the text of all but the rarest species, showing leaf/leaves, cells, capsule, habit etc.
||Under a Compound Microscope (also useful to examine with x15 or x20 hand lens).
||Water mounts of leaves for cell structure, (staining may be needed for Sphagnum).
||Superseded by Ed 2 (2004).