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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.

Pohlia andalusica

Range & Status

(syn. P. annotina taxon (c) of Paton, 1969; P. rothii of Smith, 1978 and Corley & Hill, 1981, ? nec (Correns ex Limpr.) Broth. [ P. rothii of Paton, 1969 equals P. drummondii (Mull.Hal.) A.L.Andrews, fide Paton MS., 1986]). Thinly spread over much of Europe; also in Azores, N. Asia and N. America. In the British Isles known (post-1950) from N. Scotland to SW. Ireland, but a large majority of all records are from Cornwall. However, it is a recently segregated species that is probably still somewhat under-recorded. Although it was well characterised by Lewis & Smith (1978), and in the 1st edition of the standard Flora by Smith (1978), an incorrect name was used. Shaw (1981) corrected the nomenclature and British herbarium material was revised by Corley & Hill (1981). Occasional forms occur in Cornwall that appear to link this species with the much commoner P. annotina (Hedw.)

Lindb. that commonly grows with P. andalusica .

Regional Distribution

Mainly in areas of old metalliferous mining around Camborne and Redruth, and to southeast of Bodmin Moor.

Habitat & Ecology

Grows on unshaded or lightly shaded acidic soils, especially those of sandy, silty or gravelly texture, and often where rain-water forms temporary puddles. It occurs mainly on old spoil from metalliferous mining that is polluted by metals that include copper, but also on sandy banks of streams draining mining areas. It is often locally common on mine-spoil, forming pure stands or intermixed with the rather similar P. annotina . Reproduces mainly by caducous axillary bulbils. It is a dioicous species for which sporophytes were hitherto unreported in Britain, but plentiful immature capsules were found near Cambrose in April 1994 (Herb. DTH).


Its mine-spoil habitats are at risk from reclamation and ' tidying' , or from their abandonment to natural vegetational succession leading to shading from taller plants. Fortunately, plant colonisation occurs slowly on substrata with high copper concentrations and there is at present much disturbance of the spoil at some sites.


Several sites are on SSSI intended to protect metallophyte bryophytes.

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.