Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Search in the Encyclopedia

Dieren en planten

Water en land

Moss pygmyweed


plant: 1 to 5 centimeters
flower: 1 to 3 millimeters


flower: pinkish white


May through September


seed, broken off pieces of the plant




origin the Mediterranean area; now moving north

  • Dut: Mosbloempje
  • Lat: Crassula tillaea
  • Eng: Moss pygmyweed, mossy stonecrop, rat's tail cypress
  • Ger: Moos-Dickblatt
Moss-pygmyweed, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

Moss pygmyweed

Moss pygmyweed is a very small plant. In fact, it is the smallest flowering land plant in the Netherlands. It looks a lot like a moss, which explains the Dutch name 'moss flower'. The young succulent leaves begin green, but turn orange and then red as they age. You generally only notice the plant when it's red. Just like wall-pepper, if parts of the plant break off, they easily take root elsewhere.

Discovered on the nudist campground

Moss pygmyweed, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

In the Netherlands, moss pygmyweed is a rare plant. However it has become quite common on Texel. It was discovered at the end of the 20th century at a nudist campground. Once plant experts started paying attention, they suddenly found it growing throughout the island! Elsewhere in the country it is also becoming more common, such as on Terschelling.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Moss pygmyweed along roadside, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    Moss pygmyweed grows in cracks among or alongside brick paths and other areas that are damp in the winter but dry in the summer. It grows in direct sun as well as slightly shaded areas, such as parks and cemeteries.

    This plant is extremely rare in the Netherlands but you find it quite a lot on Texel. It was first seen on a nudist campground at the end of the 20th century. When plant experts looked more closely, they discovered it throughout the island. In the meantime, it is becoming more common elsewhere in the country, such as on Terschelling.