Springy Turf-moss - Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus

Alternative names
Square Goose-neck moss

The shoots of this extremely common moss may be 10 to 15 cm long, and are distinctive in the way the tapered part of the 2 to 2.5 mm long leaves bend back at a right angle to the base so that they spread out and away from the stem in all directions, giving shoots a star-like appearance. The broad leaf base completely sheathes the red stem so that it is only visible through the leaf bases. The leaf has lightly toothed margins and a short, double nerve. Capsules are generally uncommon.

Identification difficulty

R. squarrosus is a ubiquitous species of unimproved or semi-improved grassland, including lawns. Where the grass is short, either through mowing or grazing, it can form extensive, almost pure swards. It is also occasional in heathland, and in flushes and other wetlands.

When to see it

All year round.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

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