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The green or golden green main shoots grow closely appressed to the substrate, sometimes reaching many centimetres in length. They have short (less than 1 cm), crowded side branches that curve upwards and inwards when dry, with leaves closely appressed. On wetting, the branches rapidly straighten and the leaves spread outwards. Leaves are 2.5 to 3 mm long, strongly pleated, narrowly spearhead-shaped, widest at the base, and taper evenly to a finely pointed tip. The margins are weakly toothed. Capsules are fairly frequent, 2 to 3 mm long, straight and cylindrical.
H. sericeum grows on hard surfaces, both on rocks and tree bark. It favours base-rich rocks and may be abundant on limestone walls and crags. It is also common on trees with base-rich bark, e.g. Ash and Elder, preferring the trunks and larger branches. It is also widespread on brick walls, concrete and other man-made structures.
Quite common and widespread in Britain
Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.
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