Acaulon mediterraneum

Range & Status

(syn. A. muticum var. mediterraneum (Limpr.) S\'e9rgio). Differs from the commoner A. muticum (Hedw.) M\'fcll.Hal. only in microscopic characters of the spores and overlooked in Britain until recently (Holyoak, 2003a). British records are mainly from Cornwall, with single specimens also from S. Devon and S. Somerset. Elsewhere it occurs mainly in Mediterranean countries, northwards to France and S. Sweden, but also in S. Australia.

Regional Distribution

Seven records are mainly from coastal areas, although it is known by old specimens from Bodmin.

Habitat & Ecology

Grows on open or lightly shaded patches of soil, exposed e.g. above sea-cliffs or on cattletrodden track edges. The small plants are short lived winter ephemerals, with capsules maturing from October to January.

Threats

Potentially at risk from the reduction of open habitat around the coasts now that cliff-top grazing has largely ceased and coastal scrub cover is increasing. Excessive trampling along the coastal path may also reduce its potential habitats.

Conservation

Several records are in SSSI or other protected coastline.