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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.

Riccia bifurca - Lizard Crystalwort

Range & Status

Widespread in Europe from Iceland and N. Russia southwards to the Mediterranean; also Macaronesia, Algeria, SW. Asia, N. America, Greenland, Australia and New Zealand. In Britain, known only in W. Cornwall; records from elsewhere are erroneous (Paton, 1999).

Regional Distribution

Restricted to the Lizard (SW61, SW71, SW72), where known by recent records from at least five sites.

Habitat & Ecology

Grows on rather bare peaty or gravelly soil in damp or wet hollows, often on paths; its sites are on cliff tops, cliff-slopes and heathland up to 5 km inland. It behaves as a perennial in sites that are wet throughout the year but apparently as an annual in those that dry in summer. It is a monoicous species in which sporophytes are frequent, maturing from September to June.


No detailed information. One site at the edge of a small pond will soon be lost as shading by Common Gorse Ulex europaeus continues to increase.


Its Cornish sites are mainly but not entirely in SSSI. Listed as Vulnerable on the UK Redlist (Church et al. , 2001), as Vulnerable under the IUCN Red List and placed on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended. The species was added to the UK BAP list in 2007.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


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.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.