Fossombronia foveolata

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Identification notes

By Fossombronia standards, this is quite a large species and is discernibly bigger than F. wondraczekii, with which it often grows. It’s also quite rare so is always nice to find – although you can’t be sure until you’ve examined its spores under microscope and confirmed their distinctive hexagonal areolae.

F. foveolata has a restricted habitat niche and being aware of this can help to home in on potential plants in the field. It prefers moist acid ground low in nutrients, such as peat or china clay waste in the drawdown zone of shallow pools, watercourses and mires. In the New Forest, Hampshire, it is quite common at the edges of valley mires and flushes where ponies and other animals have poached the ground and created gaps in the vegetation. Here it is often part of a community of other small bryophytes including Cephalozia connivens, Gymnocolea inflata and Pseudephemerum nitidum.

Like other Fossombronia species, plants with only immature (green) capsules can be grown on to maturity through cultivation at home if required.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Similar Species

The following are the most common species likely to be confused with F. foveolata, but there are several less common Fossombronia species that are worth being aware of.