Common Smoothcap - Atrichum undulatum

Alternative names
Catherine’s Moss

This distinctive species can form extensive patches, usually dark green, but sometimes yellower when well-lit. The erect stems reach 7 cm, with leaves to 1 cm in length and are strongly crisped when dry. The leaves have up to seven plates of tissue running longitudinally up the leaf and over the nerve, which are clearly visible with a hand lens. It also has toothed leaf edges.

Cylindrical capsules are frequent, 3 to 4 mm long with a long weak beak of similar length, on a 2 to 4 cm long reddish seta.

Identification difficulty

Usually found in shaded, well-drained woodlands on all but the most extreme soils. Can also be found on heaths, grasslands or rocky ledges.

UK Status

Very common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

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