Orthotrichum pallens

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Identification notes

This small rare species resembles O. tenellum and O. stramineum. Its capsules may mature in summer, which could be helpful in identification as these common relatives have usually finished by then.

The calyptra is pretty important in the certain identification of O. pallens. It’s hairless and pale yellow/colourless with an orange tip and is pleated (best seen under the microscope). O. pallens also has distinctive capsule stomata. These are immersed, but hardly obscured by the exothecial cells. The capsule has 8 pairs of pale yellow papillose exostome teeth.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

O. pallens is a rare species, although apparently increasing in some areas.

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Resources you may find useful

The Bryophyte identification page under Resources contains additional resources on the genus Orthotrichum.

Bryophyte identification resources

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