Habit: Forming bright green turfs of erect plants usually less than 2 cm tall; colorless to pale green reclining leafless shoots often abundant; usually loosely affixed to the substratum by a creeping intertangled rootlike system.
Habitat: Humus or peaty banks, usually on sloping or perpendicular surfaces that are somewhat sheltered, often in sites where the air is moist, as near streams, pools, cascades, and waterfalls, from near sea level to alpine elevations.
Reproduction: All parts of the plant are brittle and presumably serve in vegetative propagation; sporophytes of T. ceratophylla have a persistent seta, the elongate sporangium bears an apical calyptra and the sporangium opens by a diagonal line.
Local Distribution: Confined to the most humid climatic portion of the coast from the Aleutian Chain, Alaska, southward to northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland of the coastal areas of British Columbia.
World Distribution: Western North America: Alaska and British Columbia; East Asia; Japan, Borneo and the Himalayan Mountains.
Distinguishing Characteristics: The small erect plants that form bright green turfs and have a colorless slender rhizomatous system and the individual leaves radially arranged on the shoots are very distinctive characteristics.
Similar Genera: The genus Blepharostoma is often similar in size and color, but the leaves are divided into narrow lobes; the plants also lack a colorless rhizomatous system. Perianths are also frequent in Blepharostoma, absent in Takakia.
Comments: This genus is so distinctive that it is sometimes placed into its own isolated group of plants completely independent of the rest of the bryophytes. In significant features, however, it is clearly a moss. The gametophyte has many features common to mosses, but many features are unique, in the bryophytes, to this genus. The sporophyte is decidedly of a moss, as is the calyptra. It could be dubbed the 'puzzle plant' because of its baffling relationships. The Japanese name nanja-monja-goke (literally 'impossible moss'} reflects this bafflement. The genus has been included here because the plant so resembles a leafy liverwort.
Source: Extracted with permission from a Field Guide to Liverwort Genera of Pacific North America (Schofield 2002).