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

Hygrohypnum ochraceum (Turn. ex Wits.) Loeske
claw brook-moss (hygrohypnum moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC
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Distribution of Hygrohypnum ochraceum
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Species Information

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Illustration Source: Some Common Mosses of BC

Species description:
Genus name meaning aquatic Hypnum, describing the habitat. Species name meaning yellow-brown, describing plants of sunny sites.
Sporophytes infrequent, maturing in spring to summer; brown when ripe.
Distinguishing characteristics:
Specimens with yellow-green, falcate­secund leaves, loosely or not attached to the substratum and with stout inclined sporangia are diagnostic, but see below.
Forming soft mats of golden green, yellow-green or, rarely, dark green, irregularly branched shoots usually loosely affixed to the substratum.
Similar Species:
This is a highly variable species and can be confused with some species of Hypnum that are irregularly branched; the charac­ters that set them apart, except for the wet habitat, are largely micro­scopic. From Drepanocladu species that occur in the same habitat, the pronounced midrib of that genus is usually sufficient to separate them. It is often difficult to distinguish from most other species of Hygrohyp­num, except that in cross-section, the stem of H. ochraceum shows en­larged, thin-walled cells in the epidermal layer; most other species ofHygrohyp­num, lack these enlarged cells.

Habitat / Range

Aquatic or in seepage sites; in wetlands of subalpine to alpine areas; on rocks and logs in streams, on wet cliffs, especially near water­courses and on lake margins; from sea level to alpine sites.
World Distribution

Widely distributed in the cooler climates of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Western Hemisphere from southern Greenland southward to the southern Appalachian Mountains of North America and westward around the Great Lakes; in western North America from northern Alaska southward to Arizona, eastward along the Rocky Mountains.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Hygrohypnum ochraceum var. filiforme (Limpr.) Amann
Hygrohypnum ochraceum var. flaccidum (Milde) Amann
Hygrohypnum ochraceum var. uncinatum (Milde) Loeske

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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