Mnium hornum

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Identification notes

This very common moss is surprisingly variable-looking, especially in spring, when bright green new growth at the shoot tips contrasts with the dark green older leaves below.

Plants are dioicous and it is a bit of a rite of passage for new bryologists to think that male plants in breeding condition are a different species. Such plants have very beautiful, flower-like inflorescences at the tips of their shoots.

Of our six Mnium species, only M. hornum prefers acidic substrates, so any Mnium growing in a clearly base-rich habitat, such as a limestone crevice, should be checked for one of the other species.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Similar Species

In upland habitats it could also be confused with the rarer M. ambiguum, M. thomsonii and M. spinosum