Water Screw-moss - Syntrichia latifolia

    Alternative names
    Tortula latifolia

    Syntrichia latifolia grows in yellowish-green or dull green, 1 to 3 cm tall, often silt-encrusted patches which can be quite extensive. The broad (up to 1.5 mm), soft leaves are nearly 3 mm long, and spread when moist, becoming incurved and rather shrivelled when dry. The nerve ends in the broadly rounded leaf tip and the margins are usually plain. The upper surface of the leaf is often strewn with small, spherical gemmae of a similar size and appearance to pollen grains. The cylindrical capsules are rare.

    Identification difficulty

    Most typically it grows on trees, but also on rocks and walls, in the flood zone of streams and rivers where it is often heavily encrusted with silt, and therefore difficult to detect. S. latifolia is also almost ubiquitous on shaded tarmac roads and paths in parts of western Britain.

    When to see it

    All year round.

    UK Status

    Widespread in Britain except in the far north. It is most abundant in southern, lowland parts of Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map