Dichodontium pellucidum (Hedw.) Schimp.
transparent rake-moss (dichodontium moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Gerry & Wendy Ansell     (Photo ID #70933)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Dichodontium pellucidum
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name referring to the two-forked peristome teeth. Spe­cies name meaning transparent, presumably in reference. to the leaves as viewed under the microscope.
Commonly producing sporophytes in winter to early spring at lower elevations; at higher elevations sporophytes are rare but axillary gemmae are frequent.
Distinguishing characteristics:
With sporophytes, this species is distinc­tive; the suberect sporangia associated with the pale green, toothed leaves are reliable characters.
Forming bright, yellow-green to dark green turfs.
Similar Species:
Dicranella palustris, found in similar habitats, has sporangia that are inclined and curved and the leaves are markedly squarrose (subsheathing at base then abruptly diverging outward). Comments: Western North American material is mainly D. flavescens (With.) Dixon, a species that shows a wide distribution independent of acidity of substratum. D. pellucidum, in the strict sense, is a calcicole. The plants tend to be bright yellow-green, compared to duller colours in D. flavescens. D. pellucidum is mainly subalpine, but may also be found at lower elevations, and occurs in calcium-rich sites. Many re-· searchers do not consider D. flavescens to be an independent species but treat it as within the variability of D. pellucidum.


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 in wet, somewhat shaded, habitats, especially near streams, on rocks, soil, even on logs, but also on cliffs away from water bodies. Most frequent at lower elevations, but also in subalpine and al­pine sites where it is found in sunny localities with mineral soil.
World Distribution

Circumboreal; in North America extending southward to North Carolina and Tennessee in the east and to California in the west.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Dichodontium flavescens
Dichodontium pellucidum subsp. fagimontanum (Brid.) Kindb.
Dichodontium pellucidum var. fagimontanum (Brid.) Schimp.
Dichodontium pellucidum var. flavescens (With.) Moore