Common Pocket-moss - Fissidens taxifolius


F. taxifolius is a medium-sized species, with shoots up to 2 cm long. The leaves lack a border, and the nerve runs right to the tip of the leaf, where it is usually excurrent as a short point. Under a microscope the leaf margins are regularly and finely toothed but this is scarcely detectable in the field. Capsules are fairly frequent, inclined and the red seta arises from near the base of the main shoot. Var. taxifolius has more or less parallel-sided leaves which taper abruptly to an acute and often abruptly pointed tip; var. pallidicaulis has more elongated leaves which taper in the upper part, and the shoots are often longer than in the var. taxifolius, reaching 2 to 3 cm as against 1 to 2 cm.

Identification difficulty

Var. taxifolius is common on soil or in cracks and crevices in rock, in woodland, on shady banks, in arable fields and undisturbed garden borders. Var. pallidicaulis grows in rock crevices

When to see it

All year round.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent 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