Metzgeria furcata, the forked veilwort, is a frequent liverwort growing on the bark of a wide range of tree and shrub species and occasionally on rocks. It is a slim, translucent thallose liverwort forming yellow-green mats of branches about 1mm wide.
Metzgeria furcata has a midrib which is clearly visible over the rest of the thallus (which is 1mm wide), which also extends to the tip of the thallus, although without an excurrent nerve. The defining characteristic is definitely the fact that the thalli and the midrib fork at the end, which is visible on most patches. The Forked Veilwort rarely makes sporophytes, although on the underside of quite a few patches an inflorescence can be found.
Similar species in Britain
Apometzgeria pubescens is very hairy and Metzgeria fruticulosa and M. temperata constantly have gemmae on the thalli. M. conjugata grows on rock, and M. furcata can sometimes grow on rock too, but M. conjugata has thalli that are twice as wide as M. furcata and the margins are much more turned down.
- Edwards, Sean R. (2012). English Names for British Bryophytes. British Bryological Society Special Volume. 5 (4 ed.). Wootton, Northampton: British Bryological Society. ISBN 978-0-9561310-2-7. ISSN 0268-8034.
- Atherton, Ian D.M.; Bosanquet, Sam D.S.; Llawley, Mark, eds. (2010). Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: A Field Guide (PDF). British Bryological Society. p. 246. ISBN 978-0956131010. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- https://data.nbn.org.uk/Taxa/NHMSYS0000310185. Metzgeria furcata (L.) Dumort. [Forked Veilwort]. NBN Gateway. Retrieved 14/04/2015