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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 cuneifolia - Wedge-leaved Screw-moss

Range & Status

Mainly a Mediterranean and W. European species, occurring north to the British Isles and Germany; also W. Asia, N. Africa and Macaronesia. In Britain now a rare moss almost restricted to SW. England, with single localities in W. Wales and Hampshire; formerly more widespread across S. England and in S. Ireland (Hill et al. , 1992).

Regional Distribution

Known from several localities on the south coast and a few on the north coast. Although likely to be overlooked (especially when non-fertile), it is apparently declining, with only three sites known post-1999 and two of those having very small populations. Old accounts (Hooker, 1844; Braithwaite, 1887-1905) indicated that it was formerly of frequent occurrence, but there is little evidence to support this (Paton, 1969).

Habitat & Ecology

Grows on partly bare soil and on thin soil in rock crevices; recorded from banks beside roads and tracks and slopes of old quarries. Capsules are common, maturing in April and May.


Causes of the widespread decline of the species are uncertain. Climatic warming might be expected to lead to a reversal in the decline of this southern species, but there is no sign of this occurring.


The species was added to the UK BAP in 2007.

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.