Bryum rubens

HomeLearningSpecies FinderBryum rubens

Identification notes

Bryum rubens is one of the commonest tuberous Bryums and is found on a variety of especially basic disturbed soils including arable fields, gardens and roadsides. The plants themselves tend to be a little larger than most of the other tuberous species and it tends to form quite vigorous clumps.  The leaves have a border, which is a useful confirmatory character.

The tubers are red with protruberant cells, like a mulberry. As well as being common on short rhizoids, they are often found clustered around the lower leaf axils. This is a unique feature which if seen with a hand lens, confirms the identification.

Bryum touwii has recently been described from the Netherlands as a segregate on molecular and morphological grounds. It is said to favour acid and sandy soils. Tuber characters are very similar. If embraced as a new species in UK and Ireland it is likley to prove widespread.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

It is tolerant of eitrophication and is a widespread and common plant of the lowlands.

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Resources you may find useful

Holyoak, D. 2021. European Bryaceae.

David Holyoak’s book contains keys, detailed morphological, ecological and taxonomic descriptions and diagrams showing key features – and is highly recommended for anyone wishing to get to know Bryum species.

The Bryophyte identification page under Resources contains additional information on the genus Bryum, including an early version of the keys now published in David Holyoak’s book.

Bryophyte identification resources

Similar Species