E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Cratoneuron filicinum (Hedw.) Spruce
fern-leaved hook-moss (cratoneuron moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC
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Distribution of Cratoneuron filicinum
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Species Information

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Illustration Source: Some Common Mosses of BC

Species description:
The species name refers to the fern-like appearance of the leafy plants.
Sporophytes infrequent, maturing in summer; seta red, elongate, sporangium brown, curved, not glossy when dry. Vegetative reproduction by fragmentation is probably the main means of local dispersal.
Distinguishing characteristics:
Usually plants have a fern-like form with many short, lateral branches that gradually become shorter toward the apex; thus the whole shoot resembles a fern frond. The broadly triangu­lar leaves with distinct midrib and bulging alar cells are characteristic. These features, combined with the wet habitat, are usually sufficient to mark the species.
Forming dense mats of erect to suberect shoots varying from pale green to brownish-green to golden green.
Similar Species:
Helodium blandowii grows in similar habitats but the plants are usually yellow green, the pinnate branches are more than twice the length they are in the Cratoneuron, and they tend to emerge at right angles rather than acute angles; paraphyllia are obvious at lOX; differentated alar cells are absent. Tomentypnum nitens has conspicuously pleated leaves, and lacks differentiated alar cells. Kindbergia praelonga has more complex branching and lacks the conspicuous alar cells. K. oregana, besides the features of K. praelonga, grows in dry rather than wet habitats.

Habitat / Range

In seepage areas, or near watercourses, also on wet cliffs; from near sea level to alpine sites, more frequent in calcareous areas but also on non-calcareous substrata; tolerant of greater periods of dryness than C. commutatum.
World Distribution

Widely distributed in the Northern Hemi­sphere; in the Americas extending southward to Guatemala; also in New Zealand.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cratoneuron curvicaule (Jur.) G. Roth
Cratoneuron filicinum var. aciculinum (Müll. Hal. & Kindb.) Grout
Cratoneuron filicinum var. curvicaule (Jur.) Mönk.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References