Creeping Feather-moss - Amblystegium serpens


 The mid- to dark green, irregularly branched, 1 to 2 cm long shoots may form extensive, intricate patches. Stem leaves are very small (normally only about 0.5 mm long), erect or erect-spreading, narrowly egg-shaped, with a tapering tip, and often rather markedly narrowed at about mid-leaf. The nerve is single, but difficult to see with a hand lens, and does not extend beyond mid-leaf. Branch leaves are very similar, but even smaller. Capsules are common, to about 2 mm long, curved and cylindrical, borne on a long seta, and have a conical lid.

Identification difficulty

A. serpens favours moist or sheltered places, and grows on both living and dead wood in woods and hedges, where it often abounds on old elders (Sambucus nigra). It also occurs on soil and stones on banks, beside streams and rivers, at the base of walls, and sometimes on man-made habitats such as tarmac.

When to see it

All year round

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in 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