Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Fossombronia maritima

Range & Status

(syn. F. pusilla (L.) Nees, var. maritima Paton). Described as new to science by Paton

(1973) and elevated to species rank by Paton (1994). It is now known from N. Wales,

W. Ireland, S. and SW. England, France (Brittany and on Mediterranean coast) and


Regional Distribution

Apparently widespread on and near coasts of Scilly and W. Cornwall but with only a few records in E. Cornwall (SX08P and SX08U).

Habitat & Ecology

Grows on peaty soil or humic sand on heaths, heathy cliffs, floors of quarries, non-calcareous dune-slacks and old tracks. It is a perennial that survives summer drought as tuberous stems and withstands winter flooding in some of its sites. The species is monoicous and sporophytes are frequent, occurring from December to June.


No detailed information, but unlikely to be at serious risk. Lack of grazing on most coastal heaths and heavy pedestrian pressure on coastal paths is, however, leading to declines and loss of some populations.


Some sites are on SSSI and other protected land.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.