Grimmia orbicularis

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Identification notes

This rather uncommon moss is often found growing with the much commoner Grimmia pulvinata, which looks very similar, so the challenge is telling them apart. There are a few pointers to spotting this needle in the haystack. It tends to favour older surfaces such as exposed base-rich rocks, tombstones or slightly disintegrating concrete, and generally forms flatter, spreading, untidy blackish hoary  patches that tend to break up easily. Grimmia pulvinata forms denser and more compact grey-green cushions.

Fortunately, both species fruit freely. Grimmia orbicularis has shortly ovoid capsules with a mamillate lid and Grimmia pulvinata generally a more elongated capsule with a rostrate lid. Microscopic confirmation is really needed. The elongate basal cells are 4-8 times as long as wide (2-4 in G.pulvinata)

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Resources you may find useful

The Bryophyte identification page under Resources contains additional information on the genus Grimmia.

Bryophyte identification resources

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