E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Aulacomnium androgynum (Hedw.) Schwaegr.
lover's moss (aulacomnium moss)
Aulacomniaceae

Species Account Author: Wilf Schofield
Extracted from Some Common Mosses of British Columbia

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC

© Rosemary Taylor  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #35200)

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Distribution of Aulacomnium androgynum
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Species Information

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Illustration Source: Some Common Mosses of BC

Species description:
Genus name derived from the furrowed sporangium; the mnium portion of the name being an ancient Greek name for moss. The species name derived from the assumed bisexual condition of the moss, based on a misinterpretation of the gemma-bearing shoot as a male shoot.
Reproduction:
Sporophytes common, maturing in spring, reddish-­brown; gemma-bearing shoots common on non-sporophyte-bearing plants, especially conspicuous in winter and late summer. The dusty gemmae fall off readily.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The spherical masses of gemmae on elon­gate shoots are unique to this moss in the provincial flora. Any pale yellow-green, tufted moss found on relatively dry wood surfaces is likely to be this species. Sporangia are distinctive with parallel grooves and two rows of peristome teeth.
Habit:
Usually forming bright yellow-green tufts or turfs of erect shoots.
Similar Species:
Tetraphis pellucida grows in similar habitats but its peristome has four teeth, the sporangia are not grooved and gemma­bearing shoots are usually terminated by a leaf-fringed cup. A. palustre tends to be larger, grows in terrestrial, usually wet, habitats and has gemma-bearing shoots terminated by a small irregular cluster of gem­mae. See also notes under Ceratodon purpureus.

Habitat / Range

Habitat
Usually on decaying wood of stumps or logs, or peat-like turf, occasionally on rock, tree trunks and disturbed mineral soil. Fre­quent on fence posts, rail fences and charred stumps. Common near the coast in both woodland and open areas from sea level to subalpine; less common in the interior.
Range
World Distribution

Circumboreal, also in southern South America; in North America across the northern portion of the continent and ex­tending southward to West Virginia in the east and California in the west.

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