Common Feather-moss - Kindbergia praelonga

Alternative names
Eurhynchium praelongum

K. praelonga has regularly branched, pinnate shoots, typically 1 to 3 cm long, which are more or less triangular. Robust woodland forms have bipinnate  or tripinnate branching patterns and are larger. The most important character is the very marked difference in shape between the stem and branch leaves. Stem leaves are 1 to 1.5 mm long, triangularly heart-shaped, with a fine, elongated tip which often turns outwards; they are widest just above the base, but narrow abruptly to clasp and run down the stem a little distance in the form of narrow wings. The leaves at the shoot tip are crowded and spread outwards, thus the tip may appear star-shaped from above. Branch leaves are about 1 mm long, egg-shaped, with a shorter tip and without an obviously clasping base. The leaves are finely toothed and have a single nerve. Capsules (about 2 mm long) have a beaked lid and are fairly frequent, especially in woods.

Identification difficulty

One of the commonest mosses in lowland Britain. It is found on banks, in turf, on the ground in woodland, on logs, and it ascends the trunks and branches of trees, at least in sheltered places. It is also present in many lawns.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

Further Information

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Common Feather-moss
Species group:
Mosses & Liverworts
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
10/11/1991 (Dennis Ballard)
Last record:
31/03/2024 (Smith, Peter)

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% of records within its species group

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