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COMMON HAIRCAP MOSS : Polytrichum commune

Also known as marsh haircap. It is one of 5 haircap mosses found in in damp woodland and on boggy muirs. it looks like lush, but spikey cushions.

They consist of tough, wiry shoots up to 40 cm long (usually about 20 cm). When moist, the 8–12 mm long, narrowly spearhead-shaped leaves spread or strongly curve away from the stem, with a glossy sheathing base, giving a starry appearance viewed from above. When dry, the margins become inrolled, wavy and gently twist around the stems.

Found in a wide range of damp, acidic habitats, tolerating shade and moderate amounts of pollution and nutrient enrichment. It often abounds on wet moors in the uplands, but is also frequent throughout western, lowland Britain in wet woodlands, bogs, ditches, by lake margins, on heaths, etc [See link below].

Some haircap moss shares the top of a split wooden bollard within the Saltings with ordinary moss.

A minute garden. Haircap moss fruiting in September.

BRITISH BRYOLOGICAL SOCIETY : https://www.britishbryologicalsociety.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Polytrichum-commune-var.-commune.pdf

WILDLIFE TRUSTS : https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/mosses-and-liverworts/marsh-hair-moss

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