Bruch's Pincushion - Ulota bruchii


Very similar to Ulota crispa and detailed examination may be necessary to separate these species. Forms yellowish-green cushions with a blackish-brown lower part to each shoot. The upper leaves of U. bruchii are 2.5 to 4 mm long. Some plants cannot be confidently named without microscopic examination of the peristome. Leaves are spearhead-shaped, and the nerve ends in or below the tip. Capsules of Ulota bruchii are 2 to 3 mm long and taper to a narrow mouth, whereas the capsules of Ulota crispa have a narrow ‘neck’ just below the mouth – there is some variation between plants and this may not a reliable identification feature on its own.

Identification difficulty

Both U. bruchii and U. crispa grow on the twigs and branches of many species of tree and shrub, such as Elder, Hazel and Willow as well as on trunks that are not heavily shaded.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

Both species frequently form capsules in summer, borne on a seta about 2.5 mm long, and these persist all year round.

UK Status

Widespread and quite frequent throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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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