Solenostoma gracillimum

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Identification notes

You’ll find this pioneering species creeping around in the trample zone of paths and other kinds of neutral to acid, disturbed habitats where it can sometimes form large, pure mats.

It is one of only a small number of common leafy liverworts with round, obliquely inserted leaves. The leaves of large shoots look distinctly bordered (because of pale, inflated marginal cells) when checked with a hand-lens and this, together with the absence of underleaves and a creeping habit (cf. Nardia scalaris) normally makes it immediately recognisable.

Beware though – S. gracillimum is really variable and sooner or later you’ll find a form that doesn’t look quite right. Often this is when the plants throw out a mass of slender branches with small, distant and unbordered leaves. However, the border will always be found on the bracts below the perianth, if present. Plants can be richly pigmented too and when the sharply angled perianths are present they are often purple or red-purple and very striking.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland


View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

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