Heath Star Moss - Campylopus introflexus

    Description

    This is an easily recognised, often abundant species. It forms dark green or almost black patches that look hoary when dry. Stems may grow to 5 cm long, but are usually much shorter. The leaves are 2.5 to 6.5 mm long, erect and straight when moist, and more appressed with the hair point often reflexed when dry. Leaves are relatively wide at the base or just above, with the nerve width variable from 30 to 70% of the leaf width and excurrent in a toothed, colourless hair point. Fertile plants are frequent, and the stems have swollen nodes at the inflorescences and slender sections in between. Capsules are common in the north and west, and are held on a strongly down curved seta.

    Habitat

    This is a pioneer species of bare peat after peat-cutting, burning, ploughing for forestry or ditching, and it can be very abundant in all these places. It may also grow on rotting logs and old fence posts, on thin soil at the edge of tracks, mine waste, shingle and rarely on roof tiles. C. introflexus may also abound on thatch.

    When to see it

    All year round.

    UK Status

    Widespread and frequent in Britain. An introduced species first found in Britain in 1941, but now occurring all over the British Isles.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map