Fissidens polyphyllus

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Identification notes

You’ll need to be in the right kind of habitat – wooded fast-flowing lowland rivers and streams – and in the right part of the country (temperate and rainy) to stand a chance of finding this lovely but rare moss, one of our largest species and certainly the largest of our Fissidens.

It grows in dense patches of long, dark and sleek-looking shoots and is very striking. Once known, it’s easily recognised. It grows in shaded places that are either intermittently inundated, such as on riverbanks in old oak woodland and on stones and bedrock in the river itself. A favoured special habitat is on vertical, dripping rocky ravine walls, where it flourishes, its shoots often covering a large area and growing to 10cm long or even more.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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