Scorpidium cossonii

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Identification notes

One of the so-called brown mosses, this one is usually tinged red or purple. Home is often the kind of base-rich flush where Palustriella falcata, Campylium stellatum, Bryum pseudotriquetrum and Philonotis fontana (or calcarea) are close companions.

Its strongly basic habitat normally rules out confusion with the likes of Sarmentypnum exannulatum, Warnstorfia fluitans and Drepanocladus aduncus, which somewhat resemble it but usually lack red-purple colours. In fact it’s most likely to be confused with Hamatocaulis vernicosus, a species that is of similar size and habit. However, that moss usually prefers neutral to slightly base-rich habitats. It also has plicate leaves. Sometimes S. cossonii looks a little plicate and then the best way to be sure about it is to section a stem and examine the outer epidermal cells – large and thin-walled in S. cossonii, small and thick-walled in H. vernicosus.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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