Claopodium crispifolium (Hook.) Ren. & Card.
rough-moss (claopodium moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Celeste Paley     (Photo ID #26994)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Claopodium crispifolium
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name meaning to break off at the foot, the particular significance which is not clear. Species name referring to the leaves that become curled and twisted when dry.
Sporophytes abundant in late winter and maturing in early spring; seta and sporangia red-brown and not shiny when mature and dry.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The regularly pinnate, bright yellow-green plants, the broadly triangular leaves, very contorted when dry, the rough seta and the long-snouted operculum are all distinctive.
Pale yellow-green to bright green mats, especially vivid when humid and during the spring, shoots often forming a dense weft over the substratum. The shoots usually bear many regularly arranged lateral branches. When dry the plants are dull yellow-green to dark green and the leaves are much contorted.
Similar Species:
It is impossible to distinguish some specimens of C. bolanderi from C. crispifolium without microscopic examination of the papillae on leaf cells: in C. crispifolium there is a single usually sharp papilla for each cell, while in C. bolanderi there are several papillae on each cell. C. bolanderi is the dominant species of this genus at subalpine elevations; it also occurs, infrequently, near sea level; east of the Coast Range, C. bolanderi is the likely species.


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

Commonly epiphytic, especially frequent on broad-leafed maple tree trunks but also on conifers (yew, western red cedar, etc.), also on boulders and cliffs, infrequently terrestrial. Generally in partial shade, usually at elevations near sea level.
World Distribution

Confined in North America to near the Pacific coast; also in southeast Asia from Japan and the adjacent Asian mainland.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Thuidium crispifolium (Hook.) Lindb.