Sarmentypnum exannulatum

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Identification notes

A beautiful pleurocarp of wet flushes that are not too acidic, nor too basic. At first sight, it looks worryingly like many other ‘hook mosses’ – greenish or brownish in colour, with pinnate branching and long leaves curved over so that they all point in the same direction at about 90 degrees to the stem. So where do we start? First, with the thumb nail, strip off the leaves on a stem and check with the hand lens that the stem is smooth and free from the ‘fur’ of tiny paraphyllia found in Palustriella. Then, carefully peel off some stem leaves and examine the cells in the basal angles – in Sarmentypnum they are visible as a distinct, clearly defined group: large, transparent and curved, in fact, banana-shaped under the microscope. In Scorpidium cossonii and revolvens, small strips of stem epidermis can come off with the leaf base, but not in such spectacular style.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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