Hair-pointed Feather-moss - Cirriphyllum piliferum


This is one of our most easily identified pleurocarps. It is fairly robust, with shoots up to 10 cm or more in length. They are more or less pinnate, with relatively short side branches which spread at right angles to the main stem and are attenuated at the tip. The whole plant is pale, sometimes whitish-green, especially at the shoot and branch tips. The most distinctive feature is the egg-shaped to oblong leaves on the main stem. They are strongly concave, and contract abruptly at the tip to a long, hair-like point. They are 2 to 2.5 mm long, excluding the point. The single nerve reaches mid-leaf or above. Branch leaves are less abruptly contracted, with a tapering rather than thread-like point. Capsules are rare.

Identification difficulty

Rather common on the ground in woodland, on banks, at the base of old walls and among sheltered rocks and stones. It is most characteristic of base-rich habitats and on clay, and usually where there is some shade or shelter.

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