*1: Sunset Wood, Kea
near Truro, 1850, EAW (TRU) (Paton 1969a:
*2: Bodmin, 1887, RVT
(B) (Paton 1969a: 710).
Only recorded with well-grown capsules since
non-fertile plants are not reliably separable from the rarer
Non-fertile (single-sex) colonies are frequent, so species is
presumably somewhat under-recorded. DTH records all
discriminated between the common 'var. aloides' and the rarer
covered in the following account. A few recent records by
other bryologists did not identify the plants varietally;
these are mapped as typical var. aloides since var. minimum is much rarer
and also sufficiently distinctive to attract
A colonist of bare acidic soil, characteristically
on steep or vertical loam or clay on banks, where it often
forms extensive pure patches, but also on flat ground at
times, occasionally on peaty or gravelly substrates. Commonly
grows in sheltered sites or partly shaded by woodland
(deciduous or conifer), but also in fully insolated sites.
Non-fertile plants presumed to be this species sometimes occur
in heavy shade, e.g. under Beeches. In addition to typical
sites on banks in or near woods and banks beside lanes,
tracks, paths, streams and a reservoir, and above sea-cliffs,
recorded on soil among roots of wind-thrown trees, low on
earthy 'hedges', on flat ground of partly bare path-sides and
track-sides, in quarries and on their spoil (granitic and
china clay). Less typical sites include banks and flat areas
of copper-mine spoil, soil in crevices of walls, a low cliff
above tidal creek, low on sea-cliffs (non-fertile plants),
steep peaty banks near mire, and on thin soil over granite
rock of boulders in quarry. Frequently in pure patches;
associates often include Calypogeia arguta, Calypogeia fissa, Dicranella
heteromalla, Diplophyllum albicans;
fewer records with Atrichum tenellum, Cephaloziella sp., Dicranella crispa, Dicranella rufescens,
heteromallum, Gymnocolea inflata, Lophozia bicrenata.
Commonly c.fr.: capsules immature 1-3, 6-12;
dehiscing 1-3 [4, 5]; dehisced 1-8 (10
A specimen in DTH has very tall
All of above records are of typical plants (var.
described by Smith (1978: 97) is of uncertain status and
treated separately here.