Encalypta ciliata

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Identification notes

This is not an especially rare moss, but it’s certainly a charmer. To stumble across E. ciliata, tucked away in a sheltered calcareous crevice or cliff ledge in the mountains, is certain to put a smile on any bryologist’s face.

Plants with calyptrate capsules are immediately recognisable as an Encalypta – nothing else has capsules like that. The fringe around the bottom of the calyptra looks like something dreamed up by a fashion designer and makes you wonder how something so intricate could evolve, and what its function might be!

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Similar Species

In Britain only one other species has a fringed calyptra, but E. brevicolla, known only from Reekie Linn in Angus, has not been seen since 1871 and may be extinct.