Kneiff's Feather-moss - Leptodictyum riparium

Alternative names
Amblystegium riparium

The medium-sized, dingy green, irregularly branched shoots of this rather nondescript moss have stem leaves that are mostly 2 to 3 mm long, egg-shaped to spearhead-shaped, widest just above the base and tapering evenly to the narrowly pointed tip. The nerve is long and single, and the leaf margins are entire. Basal cells are somewhat enlarged, but do not form distinct groups. Useful pointers are the widely spreading, often widely spaced leaves, and the shape of the leaf base, which is abruptly narrowed at the junction with the stem. The shoots often appear flattened, but they are variable and some forms have curved leaves. Branch leaves are similar to the stem leaves, but smaller. Capsules (about 2 to 2.5 mm long) are often present on a long, smooth seta 1.5 to 2.5 cm long.

Identification difficulty

It occurs in wet places in the lowlands, usually on tree bases and roots, old branches and other debris in marshes, by ponds and sluggish streams and in wet woodland.

When to see it

All year round.

UK Status

Widespread in Britain, though it seems to be less common in the north.

VC55 Status

Widespread and 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