Elegant Silk-moss - Pseudotaxiphyllum elegans

Alternative names
Isopterygium elegans

This very common moss forms sleek mats on shady, acidic banks. The shoots grow up to 3 cm long, are sparingly branched and rather slender, commonly about 2 mm wide, and are flattened in one plane. The leaves are just over 1 mm long, and gradually taper to a fine point. The nerve is very short and double, or absent. P. elegans has vegetative propagules in the form of very slender, easily detached branchlets that form in the leaf axils; these are often abundant enough to give a fuzzy appearance to the plant, but at other times they are sparse and easily overlooked. Capsules are very rare.

Identification difficulty

A calcifuge species of shady, acidic soil, rock, logs and tree roots; in woodland or in shady rock crevices. It tolerates shade and acidity, and is often abundant in speciespoor and rather unpromising habitats such as conifer plantations or amongst dense shrubs.

UK Status

Frequent and widespread 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