Common Smoothcap moss Atrichum undulatum

Scientific Name: Atrichum undulatum (Polytrichaceae).

English Name: Common Smoothcap; Catherine's Moss.

French Name: 

5 Key Characters:
  • pointed undulating leaves when wet, up to 1 cm long (crisp when dry).
  • very long beak on capsules.
  • robust, can form extensive patches, grows in loose tufts.
  • edges of leaves finely toothed.
  • ridges of tissue over the central nerve down the length of the leaf.

Lookalikes: Swan's-neck Thyme-moss Mnium hornum, which has shorter oval leaves with no undulations. Hart's-tongue Thyme-moss Plagiomnium undulatum, which has blunter leaves.

Habitat: Almost every woodland. Shaded, well-drained sites, banks and anthills in grassland, heaths, rocky ledges.

Status: Very common in woodland.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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