Kiaeria blyttii

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Identification notes

This moss of rocky places in the hills and mountains does not usually catch the eye of a passing bryologist unless it has capsules. Without them it is a bit nondescript and anonymous and with its long thin leaves, looks like it could be a small Dicranum or perhaps a Cynodontium. Actually, the four species now in the genus Kiaeria used to be nested in Dicranum so the resemblance is not entirely coincidental.

Fortunately for that passing bryologist, capsules are frequent and are distinctive in form being inclined and strumose (a distinct swelling at the base of the neck).

This and our other Kiaeria species are arctic-alpine species so will only be seen in the hills or mountains. Kiaeria blyttii is more likely to be found at lower altitudes than its rarer relatives, which are more commonly found within snow-bed communities on mountain tops in Scotland.

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Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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