Fossombronia incurva

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Identification notes

This diminutive, compact-looking Fossombronia often grows in unprepossessing places, from weathered colliery spoil to forestry tracks. It is smaller and more compact than the commoner species and plants can be provisionally identified in the field by their close resemblance to miniature lettuces.

The plants are often scattered about and once you’ve homed in on them you should be able to spot both males (orange-yellow seed-like antheridia present) and females (capsules only). Under the microscope the spores are very small (only 20-27um) and often stuck to each other in clusters of four (tetrads).

F. incurva is not particularly common and once you’ve found some, you’ll often be in the right kind of habitat for a suite of other small choice bryophytes.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Similar Species

Could be confused with several other Fossombronia species although only F. incurva and F. fimbriata are dioicous.