Polytrichum formosum (NL: Fraai haarmos / EN: Bank Haircap) is a typical moss of deciduous woodlands in the lowlands, on soils from strongly acidic to nearly neutral, but most frequent where mildly acidic. It is a medium-sized plant with erect, unbranched, scattered shoots in loose tufts, 5–10 cm tall, and leaves 1 cm long or slightly more. The bright, dark green, straight leaves hug the stem, becoming wavy and duller when dry. The spreading, narrow, triangular limb extends from a matt, colourless sheathing base. Narrow, colourless margins are distinctly toothed, and become inrolled to protect the up to 70 ridges of tissue on the upper surface of the nerve as the leaf dries out. The capsule is borne on a 2.5–6 cm seta, yellowish above, red below. Capsules are frequent and covered by the calyptra when mature.
Image: Wijnegem (BE) - 20/03/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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