Anthoceros agrestis


Aspiromitus punctatus (L.) Schljakov ssp. agrestis (Paton) Schust.


Like most hornworts, Anthoceros agrestis is thallose, meaning it doesn't have a stem or leaves, but rather grows in a nearly 2-dimensional rosette over the soil, with ruffled lobes and margins; it is similar to what you might expect lettuce to look like if it was squashed by a hydraulic press, but usually doesn't reach sizes of more than 1.5 cm across. The thallus mostly appears to be a smear of algae over wet soil but can be distinguished by the "horns", or sporophytes, that grow out of the middle parts of the thallus, and reach heights of 1-3 cm at maturity.

Habitat and Distribution

Anthoceros agrestis is not uncommon, but difficult to find, because both the thallus and sporophytes are short-lived, and tend to occupy ephemeral habitats, such as the still-wet soils of receding rivers and lakes in the spring.

It is found on wet soil and humus in boggy habitats of Albert, Carleton, Kings, Sunbury, Madawaska, Queens, and Westmorland counties. There are 16 total records at the New Brunswick Museum, all as primary taxon records, and none have been reported from other locations.

Species Name:

Anthoceros agrestis

Family Name:


Species Authority: Paton
Total Records held: 16
Total Records held at NBM: 16