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

Pohlia wahlenbergii (Web. & Mohr) Andr.
pale nodding-cap moss (Wahlenberg's pohlia moss)
Bryaceae

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 Pohlia wahlenbergii
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Species Information

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Illustration Source: Some Common Mosses of BC

Species description:
Species named to honour G. Wahlenberg (1780-1851), a Swedish botanist.
Reproduction:
Sporophytes occasional to locally abundant, red ­brown, maturing from late spring to late summer. Sporangia shrinking to half their length from moist to dry conditions.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The whitish, yellow green turfs, the red­dish stems, the rosette-tipped male shoots, the nodding sporangia that shrink to half their length when dry, and the wet terrestrial habitat are all useful characters.
Habit:
Forming loose, tall to short turfs of whitish-green to yellow ­green, unbranched plants with red stems.
Similar Species:
When without, sporophytes this species may resemble Philonotis which grows in the same habitats, but sporophytes separate them (see Philonotis). Pohlia columbica is similar but smaller (in most cases), and the peristome teeth are yellow rather than red-brown, a fea­ture of P. wahlenbergii. Pohlia longibracteata is similar, but is a species of sandy banks and the male plants have very long leaves around the sex organs, compared to the bulbiform bracts of P. wahlenbergii. Comments: In mossy meadows around late snow-melt streams, dense turfs of this moss and Philonotis often retain glistening spheres of dew or rain for extended periods.

Habitat / Range

Habitat
On mineral soils, frequently calcareous, in damp ditches, stream and lake margins, around springs forming extensive turfs along alpine streams near late-snow areas; from sea level to alpine elevations.
Range
World Distribution

Circumpolar in the Northern Hemisphere, also in South America and Australasia; widespread in North America except in arctic and interior grassland areas.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Mniobryum albicans (Wahlenb.) Limpr.
Mniobryum wahlenbergii (Web. & Mohr) Jenn.
Mniobryum wahlenbergii var. glacialis (Brid.) Wijk & Marg.
Pohlia albicans Lindb.

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