Sphagnum girgensohnii

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Identification notes

Sphagnum mosses have a bit of a reputation for being difficult to identify, but there are quite a few that, once known, are distinctive enough to be easily identified in the field.

S. girgensohnii is one of these. It is one of only two common and usually green lowland species which has (i) a prominent central capitulum bud (said by some to be like a rocket nose-cone) and (ii) with stem leaves tattered and fringed across a flattish or rounded apex. The shape of the stem leaf is the best way to distinguish it from S. fimbriatum.

Read the Field Guide account

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

View distribution from the BBS Atlas 2014

Resources you may find useful

There are several publications and keys dedicated to the Sphagna of Britain and Europe. The most recent of these are listed on the Bryophyte identification page under Resources.

Bryophyte identification resources

Similar Species

It also resembles the much rarer S. riparium, which is also green and has a very prominent capitulum bud. However, that species is more robust, has deeply cleft stem leaves and is found in marshy ground and by streams in the mountains.