Acaulon triquetrum

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Identification notes

This iconic moss is distinguished in two main ways. First, at only around 1mm tall, it is one of our most diminutive species. It is also one of a small number of British bryophytes listed on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and legally protected under Section 13 which protects them from picking and sale.

Ironically, it’s not picking and sale that is responsible for the decline of this very rare ephemeral species in southern England. It’s the destruction and neglect of the grazed chalk grassland that is its home, with increasing coastal erosion caused by climate change also thrown into the mix. It has been lost from many sites, and is notoriously unpredictable in its appearance even at well known sites. It is almost unbelievably small and so, when found, the bryologist may almost be overcome by the dizzying smugness of a job well done.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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