Climacium dendroides (Hedw.) Web. & Mohr
tree-moss (tree climacium moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Curtis Bjork     (Photo ID #22587)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Climacium dendroides
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name is derived from the broad perforations in the ladder-like, inner-peristome teeth. Species name describing the tree­like form of the plants.
Sporophytes infrequent except in floodplain areas where they are sometimes locally abundant in late winter and early spring; red-brown throughout.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The miniature, tree-like plants that arise from a creeping stem are highly characteristic.
Forming loose, tall turfs of miniature trees that arise from creeping shoots; dark green to light green with reddish-brown stems. Habitat: Terrestrial or on logs (rarely on rock), in wet to marshy habi­tats, most luxuriant in areas subject to periodic flooding, from sea level to subalpine elevations; relatively widespread bur not common.
Similar Species:
Although Leucolepis acanthoneuron has miniature tree­like plants, these do not arise from a creeping shoot. The leaves of the main stem of L. acanthoneura are whitish and narrowly triangular while those of Climacium are heart-shaped and green. Sporophytes of Leucolepis are frequent in spring and sporangia are nodding, compared to the erect sporangia of Climacium.


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

World Distribution

Widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, extending in eastern North America southward to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and in western North America to California; also in New Zealand.