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Neckera Moss (Neckera complanata)


Neckera complanata, The pale yellowish-green shoots of N. complanata are up to 5 cm long, rather rigid and fan-like, and bear smooth leaves less than 2 mm long, with a rounded tip which suddenly contracts into a short point. The very short, double nerve is not visible in the field. Thread-like branches with tiny, distantly spaced leaves can almost always be found if branches of this species are teased apart, and are sometimes very abundant. Capsules are uncommon. The larger N. crispa (p. 680) and the smaller N. pumila (p. 681) both have undulate leaves. Dry N. complanata may appear slightly undulate, but it never has leaves with a markedly undulate surface like those of N. crispa and N. pumila. It is therefore more similar to the related Homalia trichomanoides (p. 683), which differs in the absence of the thread-like branches.N. complanata grows on shaded, rather base-rich rocks, walls, and less frequently on masonry. It is at least equally frequent on bark at the base of trees and on coppice stools in old hedgerows and woodlands in eastern England, and colonizes shrubs in the west. It is rare in dry, calcareous turf. Photos Des Callaghan & Michael L-th (bottom right).

Taxonomic tree

  • Domain: Eukarya

    • Kingdom: Plantae

      • Phylum: Bryophyta

        • Class: Bryopsida

          • Order: Leucodontales

            • Family: Neckeraceae

              • Genus: Neckera