Polytrichum perigoniale

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Identification notes

This moss was until recently regarded as one of two varieties of Polytrichum commune (the other being its nominative variety commune). It’s widely overlooked in the field, but candidate plants without capsules can often be recognised from their relatively dry habitat of acidic sand and gravel tracks, such as those serving afforested areas in the hills.

In such habitat, and because the shoots are short, it is easy to dismiss P. perigoniale as the similar-sized P. juniperinum. However, like P. commune, P. perigoniale has sharp teeth along its leaf margins, a character that’s lacking in P. juniperinum and P. piliferum. However, P. formosum also has teeth and short plants can grow in dry habitats, so microscopic confirmation (by examination of the leaf lamellae in cross-section) is always recommended.

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Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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