River Feather-moss - Brachythecium rivulare


B. rivulare is often characteristically bright, golden or yellow-green. The stem leaves are about 2.5 mm long, broadly to narrowly egg-shaped, concave, somewhat pleated, with finely toothed margins, and have a single nerve extending above mid-leaf. Their most distinctive feature, however, is the formation of a clearly marked colourless patch of cells in the basal angles of the leaves. These run down onto the stem, and in well-marked forms extend onto the stem as broad wings. They are strongest and most easily observed on the main stems (pull away some of the leaves to reveal the base of the others). Capsules are rare and have a roughened seta.

Identification difficulty

Primarily a moss of wet habitats. It is characteristic of springs, runnels and wet ledges in the uplands, and on boulders and slabs by streams. It also occurs widely in low-lying woods and carr, by streams, and in springs and marshes. Exceptionally, it can be found in drier habitats, for example on moist stones at the base of walls

When to see it

All year round.

UK Status

Widespread and quite frequent in Britain except for East Anglia.

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