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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.

Leptophascum leptophyllum - Vectis-moss

Range & Status

(syn. Chenia rhizophylla (Sakurai) R.H.Zander, Phascum leptophyllum Mull.Hal., Tortula rhizophylla (Sakurai) Z.Iwats. & K.Saito, Tortula vectensis E.F.Warb. & Crundw.). Arts & Sollman (1991) showed that this is an almost cosmopolitan moss of warm-temperate and subtropical regions of the world. There are records from the Canary Islands, Azores, S. Africa, Japan, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mexico and Bolivia. In Europe it is reported only from Spain, Italy and S. England (Arts & Sollman, op. cit .; Blockeel in Hill et al ., 1992; Crundwell et al ., 1994). The few British records are from the Isle of Wight, Herefordshire, W. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. However, it is a small and inconspicuous moss that is unfamiliar to

most British bryologists, so it has probably often been overlooked.

Regional Distribution

Recorded from St. Agnes and St. Mary' s in Scilly and near Cadgwith.

Habitat & Ecology

Grows on open soil that is basic to slightly acidic. On St. Agnes and St. Mary' s it has been found in flower fields. On St. Mary' s it was also found on gravelly soil overlying granite; on The Lizard it was near a cliff-top path. In other parts of the world it is a weedy species (Crundwell et al ., 1994). Sporophytes were described by Arts & Sollman ( op. cit .), but they are unknown in Britain, where only female plants have been reported. Rhizoidal tubers are abundant.


Probably extinct at the site near Cadgwith, where it was not refound in 1995 or 1996. Its survival in the Isles of Scilly may depend on maintenance of traditional methods of cultivation of flower fields.


None, except that the Cadgwith site is on protected land.

Click here to see Dr. David Holyoak's Bryophyte Flora for this species


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.