Dicranella heteromalla

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Identification notes

D. heteromalla is a ubiquitous moss in a range of situations, but almost always on acid soil. In oak woodlands, for example, it is a highly characteristic member of the bryophyte community of woodland boundary banks, associated with Mnium hornum, Diplophyllum albicans and Calypogeia arguta, among others. When its inclined orange capsules are present, on a long yellow seta there can be little doubt of its identity.

D. heteromalla is often one of the first colonists or recently disturbed acid ground, although until they have reached full size the juveniles can look puzzingly like sterile Pleuridium species, or perhaps Leptobryum pyriforme.

Although D. heteromalla does grow in the uplands, on moorland for example, care needs to be taken to avoid confusion with Ditrichum heteromallum. However, when capsules are present they are easily distinguished as Ditrichum has erect, not inclined capsules.

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Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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