Dicranum majus

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Identification notes

Dicranum majus is a large and showy moss and is most common in humid (oceanic) woodlands in the rainy north and west of the country. It becomes much scarcer in dry districts. It is most characteristic of the kinds of oak woodlands that are nowadays called temperate rainforest but are also known as Atlantic oakwoods.

There is usually little confusion with this species and other species of Dicranum, except when it is poorly grown. Then it might resemble D. scoparium, a species of much wider ecological amplitude. If there is any doubt, check the back of the nerve in the upper leaf for the characteristic 3-4 toothed ridges of D. scoparium. D. majus never has these. Its narrow nerve always separates D. majus from any of the larger species of Campylopus. Capsules are sometimes present and D. majus is unusual in that as many as 6 can grow simultaneously from the same inflorescence.

On a woodland bank, D. majus can often be found with other humidity-demanding species, especially Rhytidiadelphus loreus, Leucobryum albidum and Bazzania trilobata.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Resources you may find useful

The Bryophyte identification page under Resources contains additional information on the genus Dicranum.

Bryophyte identification resources

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