Bonfire-moss - Funaria hygrometrica

    Alternative names
    Bonfire Moss

    This is a common plant in lowland Britain and is one that beginners will soon learn to recognize. The short (3 to 10 mm) shoots of this moss form loose carpets. The egg-shaped leaves vary in size (2 to 4 mm long) and are translucent, with very large, lax cells, easily seen with a ×10 hand lens. Asymmetrical capsules are usually present in abundance, borne on a long (3 to 5 cm), swan-neck seta, with a large, delicate calyptra and a convex lid.

    Identification difficulty

    This weedy species is a colonist of bare, disturbed, nutrient-rich soils; it is particularly characteristic of old bonfire sites.

    When to see it

    All year round.

    UK Status

    Widespread and frequent in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map