Bryum miniatum Lesq.
red thread-moss (glossy red bryum moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #11080)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Bryum miniatum
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Species Information

Species description:
Species name referring to the red colour of the leafy shoots.
Sporophytes common in spring, are very striking light green when immature in contrast to the wine-red leafy plants. When ripe the sporophytes are also bright red and, as they dry out, become red-brown.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The glossy, wine-red plants, the blunt ­tipped leaves, associated with the periodically wet exposed rock surface habitat are usually enough to identify this Bryum, even when sporo­phytes are absent. There are frequently swollen alar cells, not noted in other species ofBryum.
Forming wine-red to dark green glossy turfs with the leaves closely overlapping when wet or dry.
Similar Species:
Calliergon sarmentosum is a similar colour to B. mini­atum and the plants lack sporophytes, but the leaves are usually some­what broader at the base than the leaves of the Bryum. The midrib in the Bryum is also more conspicuous and forms a ridge on the back of the leaf. The ridge is visible with a hand lens. In Calliergen sarmentosum, the midrib does not form a conspicuous ridge and the shoots usually have short lateral branches that are absent in the Bryum. B. muehlenbeckii oc­cupies a similar habitat at alpine and subalpine elevations and is a sim­ilar colour but the leaf margins tend to be recurved up to half the length of the leaf, and swollen alar cells are lacking. In B. miniatum, the leaf margins are recurved only near the base and often not at all. Leaves of B. muehlenbeckii are sometimes pointed.


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

Frequent at low elevations near the coast on exposed rock sur­faces that are periodically wet; extending less frequently to subalpine sites and into the interior.
World Distribution

Widely distributed in western North America from British Columbia southward into California and eastward to Mon­tana and Nevada, reappearing infrequently in the Great Lakes, On­tario, Newfoundland, Greenland and the Faeroe Islands.