Tortula pallida

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Identification notes

If you are bryologising near the sea you may come across what appears to be T. caucasica (formerly modica) with obtuse leaf apices and a yellow seta.

This is likely to be Tortula pallida, a species only added to the British list in 2021. Older taxonomies include this plant variously as a variety of Pottia intermedia, P. littoralis or P. pallida and it wasn’t until 1993 that it was transferred to Tortula as T. pallida. An account of T. pallida in England and Wales can be downloaded from the link below.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland

Not yet known known, but likely to be widespread in a range of coastal situations once bryologists become familiar with it. Any Tortula caucasica growing in situations with a saline influence, such as on banks at the top of saltmarsh or on broken coastal slopes should be checked for the characters of T. pallida.

Resources you may find useful

Bosanquet, S.D.S. 2021. Tortula pallida in England and Wales. Field Bryology 126: 22-26

Sam Bosanquet restores Tortula pallida to the British list and describes how it differs from T. caucasica.

Download article

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