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Tortula muralis

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 2 March 2012 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Series: Belgian bryophyta

Tortula muralis (NL: Gewoon muursterretje / EN: Wall Screw-moss / DE: Mauer-Drehzahnmoos / FR: Barbule des murs) is the commonest moss on many mortared or base-rich walls – both of brick and stone – and can tolerate some shade. It also grows on concrete, roof tiles and other man-made structures, as well as outcrops of natural, base-rich rock, and much less commonly on trees and wood. T. muralis is one of the first (and commonest) mosses that beginners will find. It grows in patches, tufts and neat cushions less than 1 cm tall. A long, smooth, silvery, excurrent nerve projects from the rounded leaf tip, making the moss look hoary grey when dry. The tongue-shaped leaf blade is 2–3.5 mm long, and twists and curls when dry, but the leaves spread away from each other when moist. The margins are recurved almost to the tip. Narrowly cylindrical capsules develop from spring to autumn. They are held erect on a 1–2 cm long, purple seta, with a long peristome twisted into a spiral. In this image the capsules are still very immature and when moist the seta are yellowish-green.
(info on the species based on: "Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland - a field guide" published by the British Bryological Society)

Image: Ranst (BE) - 31/01/2012

Canon EOS 400D 1/320 second F/5.6 ISO 100 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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Suchi from Tanjavur, India

wow!! actually whats this?

2 Mar 2012 8:48am

@Suchi: Its a moss (see description in the text provided) with melting ice in between...

omid from mashhad, Iran


2 Mar 2012 12:45pm

@omid: Thanks, Omid.

christine from oelegem, Belgium

Het licht dat door het ijs schijnt is zo mooi, het muursterretje staat er scherp op, de achtergrond is goed ingevuld door de cirkels. Dit soort foto's ligt jou echt!

2 Mar 2012 7:23pm

@christine: Een erg flatterend commentaar.... dank je, Christine.

Baldwin VW from Bejuma, Venezuela

Great shot really sharp, excellent lighting and colors !!! All these mosses and lichens are more beautiful than what you can see at a glance. Fabulous image

2 Mar 2012 10:33pm

@Baldwin VW: Indeed, you have to get a close look on mosses to see the real beauty but I think it is worth the effort ... Thanks for your nice comment, Baldwin.

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

nicely done

2 Mar 2012 11:21pm

@john4jack: Thanks again for your comment, Jack.

Canon EOS 400D
1/320 second
ISO 100
150 mm