Lateral Cryphaea - Cryphaea heteromalla


The primary stems of Cryphaea heteromalla are tightly appressed to bark, whereas its more conspicuous secondary stems project stiffly away from it. Typical shoots grow to about 1.5 cm long. The leaves are 1 to 1.3 mm long, held close to the stems when dry, and spread only slightly when moist. They have an obvious nerve which extends to well over half their length, and an acute tip. Several capsules occur in close proximity to each other along just one side of the mature secondary stems. They are 2.5 to 3 mm long, and have a very short seta. The surrounding leaves almost overtop them; they are larger than the stem leaves and taper rather abruptly or more gradually to a very fine tip composed of the excurrent nerve.

Identification difficulty

Grows on the mossy bark of trees and shrubs in woodland, scrub and orchards. It is most luxuriant in moist, sheltered sites. It grows more rarely on rocks, stonework and concrete.

When to see it

All year round.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in much of Britain except the far north.

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