Species description: Genus name indicating that the genus resembles the genus Taxiphyllum, a name meaning that the leaves appear to be in two rows because the plants are somewhat flattened. Species name reflecting the elegance of the species, perhaps indicating the original author's (Bridel) affection for the species.
Reproduction: During winter, plants, especially on banks, often produce masses of tiny, brittle, yellow-green branches that serve as reproductive bodies; in late spring sporangia are produced occasionally; these are strongly nodding and red-brown when ripe.
Comments: This moss has suffered from many name changes that are related to an improved understanding of its relationship to similar mosses. It has been called Plagiothecium elegans, Isopterygium elegans and I. borrerianum, all of which are synony
Distinguishing characteristics: The somewhat flattened, pale green plants with many leaves diverging at right angles to the stem, the usually terrestrial habitat, coupled with the decidedly nodding sporangia and the masses of tiny attenuate reproductive gemmae, usually separate this species.
Habit: Creeping, shiny, pale green to yellow-green, usually irregularly branched, somewhat flattened plants with many leaves diverging at right angles from the reclining stem and branches when the plants are moist; there is little change in appearance when the plants dry except that the leaves tend to curve downward at the points.
Similar Species: See notes under Hypnum circinale. From species of Plagiothecium, Pseudotaxiphyllum elegans is distinguished by the narrower, more sharply pointed leaves, the gemma branches and the nodding sporangium. The leaves of Pseudotaxiphyllum often point downward toward the substratum when dry, a feature absent in Plagiothecium.
Habitat / Range
In usually somewhat shaded sites on earth of banks in forests, humus, rotten logs, rock and up bases of tree trunks from sea level to sub alpine forest and rarely at alpine elevations
Western Asia to eastern Europe, also in North Africa; in eastern North America from southern Labrador to northern Georgia westward to the Great Lakes, Missouri and Arkansas; in the west, from southeastern Alaska to central California, most frequent near the coast but also found in eastern British Columbia
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
22/10/2019 1:48:21 AM
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