The moss Campylopus introflexus, native to the southern hemisphere, is now considered an invasive plant in parts of Europe and North America. While it occurs on some natural sites within Edinburgh, notably on Arthur’s Seat, it is also no stranger to man-made habitats. At the Botanics, the species forms large tactile ball-like clumps between the glass panes of the Research House roof. However, as it can damage the roof, it is one of our less welcome bryological volunteers.

Gunnar Ovstebo holding a tactile moss ball from the Research House roof


Wolfgang Hofbauer and Gunnar Ovstebo checking out the bigger and better Campylopus moss-balls that are out of reach further up the roof


Furry Campylopus plants growing on the Research house roof

Campylopus introflexus moss ball

Links to reports on Moss diversity in an artificial landscape, an EU Synthesys Access project with Dr Wolfgang Hofbauer at RBGE: