Eucladium verticillatum

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Identification notes

In the field, Eucladium can be a bit anonymous-looking, its rather restricted habitat being a strong clue to its identification. A strict calcicole, it likes limestone, tufa and other basic rock (or mortar) kept damp by a trickle of water and can form extensive, single-species populations where it is happiest. You’ll often find it growing alongside Cratoneuron filicinum and less frequently Didymodon tophaceus.

Its dense, rather dull green cushions are also rather characteristic, but it keeps its best identification character under wraps until its leaves are examined under a compound microscope. If you do this carefully, you’ll see their tell-tale basal teeth immediately. This unusual character is confined to the sheathing base where the teeth can be seen to be relatively large but few in number.

Sometimes, plants of Eucladium are so encrusted with calcium carbonate that it is difficult to examine them properly. To dissolve it, immerse the plants in household vinegar or citric acid solution for 10 -15 minutes and that should do the trick.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland


View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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