Larger Mouse-tail Moss - Isothecium alopecuroides


Isothecium myurum is distinctively pale or yellowish-green. It is usually fairly robust, with shoots commonly 2 to 6 cm long, but smaller forms occur. The plants are bushy, with the branches curving downwards. The branch leaves are typically 2 mm long, egg-shaped to elliptical, concave, appressed and overlapping, giving the branches a neatly cylindrical appearance. They do not alter much when dry. The leaf tip is broadly pointed to acute, not drawn out to a fine point, and only finely toothed. The single nerve extends above mid-leaf. Stem leaves are similar to the branch leaves, but a little larger, with a slightly longer tip. Capsules appear occasionally, and are elliptical to cylindrical, and erect. The lid is beaked.

Identification difficulty

Isothecium alopecuroides occurs in woodland, on stream banks and other sheltered places, most commonly on the lower part of tree trunks and on the roots. It also occurs on rocks and stones, especially where base-rich. It does not occur on the more acidic substrates often occupied by Isothecium myosuroides, though the two species sometimes grow near each other. It is mainly a lowland species, rarely ascending to moderate altitudes.

When to see it

All year round.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map