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Home / Private Collections / Starz / Science / Plants / UK Wild Flowers / Wild Plants- February / Sand-hill Screw-moss (Syntrichia ruralis ssp. Ruraliformis)
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Sand-hill Screw-moss (Syntrichia ruralis ssp. Ruraliformis)


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This plant looks like a carpet of 'stars' and can be seen particularly after a rain shower. It often grows together with redshank. In dry conditions, the leaves wrap themselves around the stem while waiting for better times. It binds sand, protecting the dunes from erosion. This plant is a moss, a member of the Bryophytes - plants that are non-vasular (that is they do not have specialised tissue to transport water and therefore cannot regulate water.) However it can survive long periods of dessication then rehydrate quickly when it rains. Like most mosses the plants grow close together in clumps or mats. They do not have flowers and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems. They produce spore capsules rather than seeds. Picture taken on the dunes of Wells-next-to-the-Sea beach, not far from the edge of the pine wood. Picture taken 10th February 2011.

12th Feb 2011 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

moss dunes Norfolk plant wildlife

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