Scleropodium touretii

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Identification notes

When it is growing luxuriantly, perhaps on a coastal bank or dry inland hill slope, S. touretii is a handsome moss, with quite fat, neat -looking branches which grow in the same direction. With its overlapping, julaceous shoots, it could make you think of a suite of other similar-looking mosses, such as Pseudoscleropodium purum, S. cespitans, Nogopterium gracile, Scorpiurium circinatum or even the much smaller Rhynchostegium murale.

An easy way to identify it is to remember that its leaves are strongly concave and similar in shape to those of P. purum, albeit without the small apiculus of that species. Where there is any doubt, for example in heavily trampled grassland where the branching pattern of the shoots is difficult to see, check the nerve – stout in S. touretii but thin in Pseudoscleropodium. It always grows in dry, often quite exposed places and therefore is unlikely to be mistaken for S. cespitans, which likes to be at least intermittently damp.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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