Brachythecium rutabulum (NL: Gewoon dikkopmos / EN: Rough-stalked Feather-moss / DE: Gemeine Kurzbüchsenmoos / FR: Brachytécie à soie raide) is one of our commonest mosses, though it varies in form and colour,
and lacks striking distinguishing characters. It occurs in a wide range of habitats, and is especially common on wood and stones. It grows on the trunks and branches of living trees, as well as on logs and stumps. It also occurs on soil and gravelly ground, on stones, rubble and rocks, walls, and in grassland and marshes. It is found in shade, as in woods and hedge banks, and in the open, including gardens, parks, waste ground and stream banks. B. rutabulum forms loose, medium-sized to fairly robust patches, and its common forms are best known by the irregular, ascending or erect branches, with spreading leaves that are egg-shaped. These do not alter much on drying. Stem and branch leaves are similar in shape, the larger ones reaching 2–3 mm. Curved, egg-shaped capsules are frequently present; they have a conical lid and roughened seta (this can be observed with a hand lens).
(info on the species based on: "Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland - a field guide" published by the British Bryological Society)
Image: Schilde (B) - 24/02/2012
© Johan Dierckx
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