Scytinium palmatum


Scytinium palmatum

(Huds.) Gray (1821)
Leptogium corniculatum; Leptogium palmatum
Conservation Status
NT NS Sc (Key)
BLS Number
Taxon Photo
General Description

A striking lichen forming brownish black masses of convoluted thalli in short vegetation with the tips inrolled to highly distinctive cornet like horns. Rather rare and found on damp mossy rocks and as an early succession ephemeral in mildly acidic grasslands in old dunes, by paths in heathland, disused airfields and post-industrial sites.


Like Scytinium gelatinosum, but lobes larger, to 5 mm wide, ± erect, the margins characteristically downturned and forming tube-like structures; upper surface brownish, sometimes with a reddish tinge, smooth and shiny or slightly wrinkled; thallus with a distinct cortex composed of angular cells, the medulla of intertwined hyphae. Apothecia very rare in Britain and Ireland; a single occurrence of these from Moray has been documented.

Characterised by the margins of the lobes which markedly curl inwards, becoming ± tubular, especially towards the apices.


On mosses amongst boulders, on the ground in old dunes, by paths in heathland, disused airfields and post-industrial sites, occasionally on tree trunks.

Distribution Map
Key to map date classes

Scattered, rare. Mainly W. & N. Britain.

Threats & Status

Occurs in two distinct habitats; very localised on damp mossy rocks and as a probably ephemeral species of disturbed mildly acidic habitats with short vegetation. The latter includes track and path edges, dunes, acid grassland and coal mining waste. Probably quickly lost to succession, except in heavily grazed habitats. The very scattered occurrences suggest the species is quite mobile.

Britain Near: Threatened

Scotland: Priority Taxon for Biodiversity in Scotland 


Cannon, P., Otálora, M.A.G., Košuthová, A., Wedin, M., Aptroot, A., Coppins, B. & Simkin, J. (2020). Peltigerales: Collemataceae, including the genera Blennothallia, Callome, Collema, Enchylium, Epiphloea, Lathagrium, Leptogium, Pseudoleptogium, Rostania and Scytinium. Revisions of British and Irish Lichens 2: 1- 38. Link

Text by Neil A Sanderson based on Cannon et al (2020)