Wall Screw-moss Tortula muralis

Scientific Name: Tortula muralis.

English Name: Wall Screw-moss.

French Name: None.

5 Key Characters:
  • spiral twisted peristome (the fringe around the edge of the capsule).
  • leaf blades have a long silvery nerve (midrib) which extends well beyond the rounded leaf tip, making the moss cushion look hoary and grey when dry.
  • one of the most common mosses.
  • leaves tongue shaped, twisted together when dry, spread out and separated when damp.
  • leaf edges curve back (recurved) except right at tip.

Lookalikes: Syntrichia spp and other Tortula spp. Syntrichia spp tend to be larger mosses, the other Tortula spp tend to be smaller, and have different characteristics (rare on chalk, green or yellow nerves, flat leaves, grows on soil).

Habitat: The commonest moss on stone or brick walls, especially limestone or lime mortar/render. Also grows on concrete, tiles and other man-made structures as well as natural limestone outcrops. Much less common on trees and wood. Tolerates some shade.

Further References and Reading: British Bryological Society Field Guide.

Status: Very common.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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