Orthotrichum anomalum (NL: Gesteelde haarmuts / EN: Anomalous Bristle-moss / DE: Stein-Goldhaarmoos / FR: ? ) differs from most members of the genus in growing on rocks or masonry rather than trees. It is a more or less ubiquitous species, found on concrete, gravestones, wall tops and other man made structures. Also common on exposed limestone, but absent from chalk. It is not found on acidic rock. O. anomalum occasionally grows on trees and shrubs, which can be very muddling! The dark reddish-brown ripe capsules of O. anomalum are held well above low cushions of straight-leaved, green or brown shoots on a 2–4 mm long seta: a distinctive appearance not shared by other common mosses of the lowlands, except Ulota species that grow on trees and shrubs. Each capsule has 16 erect outer peristome teeth and strong ribs when it is dry. Mature capsules are reddish-brown, but light green when unripe. The calyptra is light brown and is sparsely hairy. Shoots are typically about 1.5 cm tall, with leaves 2.5–4 mm long, and capsules about 2 mm long.
(info on the species based on: "Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland - a field guide" published by the British Bryological Society)
Image: Ranst (B) - 31/01/2012
© Johan Dierckx
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