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

Hypnum circinale Hook.
coiled-leaf claw-moss (hypnum moss)
Hypnaceae

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 #40642)

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Distribution of Hypnum circinale
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Species Information

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Illustration Source: Some Common Mosses of BC

Species description:
Genus name derived from a Greek word meaning sleep, apparently reflecting the ancient use of some mosses as medicinal ingredients. Species name describing the strongly curved leaves.
Reproduction:
Sporophytes frequent, maturing in late winter to early spring; the small stout sporangia are characteristic.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The short, stout, inclined, red-brown spo­rangia, associated with the pale glossy green, creeping shoots with facate-secund to strongly curved leaves that have attenuate tips and lack a midrib, usually separate this species.
Habit:
Forming glossy, pale green to yellow-green mats or rarely, turfs.
Similar Species:
H. subimponens often grows in similar habitats but the plants are larger, more regularly branched and the sporangia are sub­erect and cylindric. Some forms of Drepanocladus uncinatus also occur in the same habitats, but the leaves have a midrib and the sporangium is cylindric and usually curved. Pseudotaxiphyllum elegans may resemble H. circinale, but the plants are usually terrestrial, the shoots are somewhat flattened, and sporophytes, although not common, are clearly nodding.

Habitat / Range

Habitat
On tree trunks, logs in early stages of decomposition, and rocks. Occasionally on humus in subalpine forest areas. From sea-level to subalpine, most frequently in humid forest.
Range
World Distribution

Confined to western North America from south­eastern Alaska southward to California and eastward to western Montana.

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