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.
Range & Status
An ' Atlantic' species, known outside Britain only in the Canary Islands, Madeira, Portugal, Spain and Ireland. In Britain known only in W. Cornwall and a few sites in W. Scotland, but possibly under-recorded.
Restricted to the Lizard, with five sites known (in SW61, SW62, SW71).
Habitat & Ecology
Typically grows on or among other bryophytes on sheltered rocks, especially those that are base-rich. The Cornish sites are all on serpentine, but include sheltered rocks near an exposed coast and rocks partly shaded by trees inland. Elsewhere it is known on limestone, calcareous sandstone and schist and has occasionally also been recorded as an epiphyte and on rotting logs. It is an autoicous species in which perianths are common and sporophytes frequent (although sporophytes have not been seen in Cornwall in the last decade).
The largest Cornish populations in Bonython Plantation have declined considerably over the past decade, apparently as a result of progressively increasing shade from the conifer plantations or deciduous trees that surround them. The population at Kynance is potentially vulnerable to heathland/scrub fires.
Three Cornish sites are in SSSI (one being on land owned by The National Trust), but one of these has only a tiny population. Scrub-clearance work to benefit the species and maintain fire-breaks near it has been carried out in the SSSI by English Nature (now Natural England). However, the largest British populations at Bonython have still not been protected as a SSSI. Listed as Endangered on the UK Red-list (Church et al ., 2001) and as Endangered under the IUCN Red List. Plantlife International has monitored the populations on the Lizard in most years over the past decade, advised land-owners on conservation of the species and carried out habitat management work to benefit the species. This species is listed on the UK BAP Priority Species list (2007).
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.