*1: Newlyn Cliff, 1861,
WC (PNZ) (Paton 1969a: 752).
*2: St Kew
Highway, 1888, RVT
(B) (Paton 1969a: 752).
Plants showing the characters of 'var. rigidum' (crowded
erect branches, crowded leaves) are rare in Cornwall (SW75U,
SW76V), the only recent record being from a hollow in
calcareous sand dunes, corresponding to the preference shown
by this form elsewhere for open turf in basic habitats (Smith
1978: 616). Blockeel & Long (1998: 149) discontinued
taxonomic recognition of this variety, which is 'rather
ill-defined' (Preston in Hill et al. 1994:
Robust (non-fertile) plants that are sometimes
plentiful in flushes on sea-cliffs have the appearance of E. speciosum (q.v.) but they are
referred to the present species because they have shorter
cells in the leaf lamina (<80 µm).
Habitat notes from C&S are as follows.
Commonest on mildly basic to circumneutral soils, often those
that are loamy, silty or clayey. Often common on soil in moist
or wet deciduous woodland on good soils, in scrub, on laneside
banks, in gardens, cemeteries, churchyards, and on soil of
banks of streams and rivers (often in flood-zones). Near lake
edge under trees; on unshaded sediment exposed in inundation
zone of reservoir. Associates in typical shaded habitats
Brachythecium rutabulum, Kindbergia
Oxyrrhynchium pumilum, less often Bryum
Also regularly occurs on soil in arable fields
(barley, cereal stubbles, cauliflower, game-food crop, weedy
fallow), grass-leys and on disturbed ground in pastures; never
seen fertile in fields; associates recorded in arable land: Barbula convoluta, Bryum rubens, Dicranella
Dicranella staphylina, Ephemerum
minutissimum, Kindbergia praelonga,
Other habitat notes from Cornwall are as follows.
Soil on cliffs and at path edges close to cliff-tops, often
lightly shaded. Soil at foot of old mortared-granite walls of
viaduct and mill buildings and inside ruined mine
engine-house. Bits on soil among granitic boulders in
deciduous woodland on valley-side slope. In one acidic
woodland restricted to old concrete. Soil near base of north
wall of church; base of old walls of ruins (part shaded); soil
near walls of ruins where shaded. Compressed soil on paths and
tracks. On old mortared walls or concrete walls, by streams or
low down in sheltered spots. Occasionally (on thin soil?) on
boulders in streams. In flood-zone on soil of bank by R.
Tamar. Bit as colonist on clay soil of sparsely vegetated bank
near working china clay quarry. On unshaded firm soil and
loose slate rocks in flush on sea-cliff (see note
Occasionally/rarely c.fr. (11 records, mostly of
only a few capsules, all from sheltered and rather stable
sites): capsules immature 10, 11; dehiscing 2, , 5, 11, 12;
dehisced 2, [4, 5].