Mylia anomala

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Identification notes

This Mylia normally bears little resemblance to its showy purple-red close relative (M. taylorii) that is frequent in the mountains. It’s also a lowland plant, and one of few leafy liverworts that can be found in mires and boggy woodlands in drier districts.

Although it’s quite small, and likes to grow in quite out-of-the-way places, the pale clusters of gemmae carried on uppermost leaves are very conspicuous and almost call out to be noticed to any passing bryologist. Calypogeia species also have gemmiferous shoots, but only M. anomala has narrowly pointed gemmiferous upper leaves. Look further down the shoots and you might notice that the lower leaves are typically rounded, only lengthening as gemmae are produced – an unusual feature!

This little plant likes a range of wet peaty places, where it is sometimes a member of a community of pioneers with e.g. Fossombronia species, Odontoschisma francisci and Pseudephemerum nitidum. Look for it too on rotting wood in woodland, where it can form large patches associated with the likes of Cephalozia curvifolia and Scapania nemorea.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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