Bryum capillare Hedw.
bryum moss

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Rosemary Taylor     (Photo ID #66084)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Bryum capillare
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Species Information

Species description:
The species name from the hair-like point of the upper leaves.
Sporophytes common, reddish-brown, maturing in spring. Reddish-brown, spherical rhizoidal gemmae are often present but usually are not obvious under a hand lens.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The most useful features are the hair-tipped leaves that are spirally twisted around the stem when dry; the reddish tint of midrib and differentiated leaf margin are also useful. Sporophytes are necessary in determining species of this genus. The flower­like rosette of upper leaves that flare outward when moist also serve as a useful feature fur this species.
Forming loose to tight short turfs, usually medium to dark green to sometimes reddish-brown with shoots bearing red rhizoids on the lower part of the stem. Midrib often reddish, as is the differentiated leaf margin. Leaves often somewhat corkscrew twisted around the stem when dry.
Similar Species:
Of the many species of Bryum in the province, B. pseudotriquetrum somewhat resembles B. capillare but lacks hair tips and the leaves are not spirally twisted around the stem when dry. Pohlia nutans is similar but lacks differentiated leaf margins, has small mar­ginal teeth, lacks hair points and the leaves are not spirally twisted around the stem when dry.


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Illustration SourceSome Common Mosses of BC

Habitat and Range

Open sites, usually on mineral soil or cliff crevices, also on concrete or stone walls and in gardens of urban areas; predominantly of lower elevations. Frequent near the coast; rare in the interior.
World Distribution

Cosmopolitan, but most frequent in temperate climates. Probably scattered throughout North America.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Bryum capillare subsp. erythroloma Kindb.