Daltonia splachnoides

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Identification notes

This formerly very rare moss appears to be increasing in some areas (high rainfall essential!). In such areas it is always worth looking for on willow and the twigs of sitka spruce in unremarkable-looking forestry on the upland edge. Some of its other habitats are even less promising-looking for the average bryologist – on decaying plant matter in marshes and stream banks, rocks and decaying wood for example.

Though rather small, if it has capsules then it becomes quite conspicuous, more so if its amazing-looking fringed calyptrae are present. Without capsules, it is rather anonymous-looking and in the field could be easily overlooked for a Pohlia, a very small Mnium, or a Bryum. Dense cushions on bark or rock could even be taken for a non-fertile Ulota. Examine a leaf under a high power microscope though and its unusual areolation will immediately confirm Daltonia.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Similar Species

Only likely to be mistaken for other species when it lacks capsules.