Schistidium maritimum

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Identification notes

 The dark green tufts of this moss are a characteristic feature of rocks right next to the sea in the north and west of Britain, showing a cavalier disregard for salt-spray, unlike many other bryophytes. It is usually fertile, when the immersed capsules, typical of many Schistidiums, will be evident.  The leaves are of typical shape for this genus, but two points are noteworthy:

  • the leaf tip is quite thick and bluntish, being composed entirely of nerve, and
  • unusually for the genus, the leaf lacks a hair point (except in the rare subsp. piliferum which is widespread in Shetland and one or two other places).

Be a bit cautious however – dried salt on the leaf tip can give the impression of a hair point sometimes.  You will soon get to know this moss – mainly because no others grow in the habitat it enjoys.

Species varieties

  • Schistidium maritimum subsp. maritimum
  • Schistidium maritimum subsp. piliferum
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