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BiologyTassel stonewort seems to prefer small habitats that have been disturbed. It appears quickly but may not last long on a particular site as it is not a competitive species. It behaves as a winter or spring annual, and seems able to cope with cold and frosty conditions, usually producing ripe spores as early as April or May. By early July, the stonewort has usually disappeared. Spores can remain dormant in the mud for many years until suitable open conditions return. It seems to require a period of drying out when water levels drop, in most summers at least.