Bonfire-moss - Funaria hygrometrica

Alt Name
Bonfire Moss

This is a common plant in lowland Britain and is one that beginners will soon learn to recognize. The short (3 to 10 mm) shoots of this moss form loose carpets. The egg-shaped leaves vary in size (2 to 4 mm long) and are translucent, with very large, lax cells, easily seen with a ×10 hand lens. Asymmetrical capsules are usually present in abundance, borne on a long (3 to 5 cm), swan-neck seta, with a large, delicate calyptra and a convex lid.


This weedy species is a colonist of bare, disturbed, nutrient-rich soils; it is particularly characteristic of old bonfire sites.

When to see it

All year round.

UK Status

Widespread and frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map