Nodding Thread-moss - Pohlia nutans


Rather variable in appearance, shoots are typically 1–2 cm tall, dull, dark green in the upper part and pale brown below, and form patches or tufts. The upper part of stems is reddish, with brown rhizoids on the lower part of stems. The spearhead-shaped leaves are larger (about 4.5 mm long) and more crowded towards the tops of shoots, and smaller below (about 2.5 mm long). The nerve ceases just below the leaf tip, and the leaves lack a border. Short-leaved branches often protrude above the cushions. Horizontal or pendulous capsules 3 mm long frequently form in spring and summer. Setae vary in length, but may be quite long.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

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P. nutans is common and often abundant on wet or dry, acidic, peaty, sandy or gravelly soil on heaths and moors, in acidic grassland, bogs, woods and sand dunes. It also grows in crevices of rock, on boulders, dry-stone walls, in gravel pits, sand pits and abandoned industrial sites.

When to see it

All year round.

UK Status

Although it is widespread in Britain and can be abundant where it occurs, it can also be rather local and may be declining.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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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