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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.

Tortula solmsii

Range & Status

Mainly a Mediterranean species, occurring in S. Europe, Macaronesia, Morocco and Turkey. It reaches its northern range limit in SW. England, where it is known only in the Isles of Scilly, on mainland of W. Cornwall and at one locality in S. Devon. Many British plants are a poorly developed form of atypical appearance that grows in shade (Long & Hill, 1982).

Regional Distribution

Recorded at eight localities, all of them near the coast: on Samson, St. Martin' s, St. Mary' s and Tresco in Scilly and on the coast of the mainland of VC1 at Porthmoina Cove and SW. of Cape Cornwall.

Habitat & Ecology

On the Isles of Scilly it grows on steep earthy cliffs, on moist soil on banks and on a

wall. Both sites on the mainland are on soil in crevices of old retaining walls of granitic rocks near sea-cliffs. Capsules (mature in spring) have only occasionally been recorded in Britain.


One site is potentially at risk from renovation of an old wall, but the owners (The National Trust) have been informed of its presence.


Several sites are 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.