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

Dicranum fuscescens var. flexicauleSm.
bendy heron's-bill moss (dicranum 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 Dicranum fuscescens var. flexicaule
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Species Information

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Illustration Source: Some Common Mosses of BC

Species description:
The genus name refers to the forked peristome teeth; the speĀ­cies name to becoming brown with age.
Sporophytes frequent, maturing in spring, dark brown when mature.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The dull green plants with leaves that are twisted when dry, added to the brown, somewhat grooved, mature, dry sporangium are useful features to separate D. fuscescens from the many variable species of Dicranum found in the province.
Forming tufts or turfs of dark green plants.
Similar Species:
Of the many species of Dicranum, D. pallidisetum is most similar and, in vegetative characteristics, is not easy to separate from D. fuscescens. In D. pallidisetum, however, the consistently yellow seta and paler brown sporangium, added to the leaves that are not so strongly twisted, when dry, as in D. fuscescens, are usually reliable features, especially in combination with the usual restriction of D. palĀ­lidisetum to subalpine forest and heath slopes. D. pallidisetum is commonly terrestrial. Paraleucobryum and Dicranodontium both are somewhat glossy, although they are similar in form to D. fuscescens. The same is true for Ditrichum crispatissimum, a species confined mainly to calcareous cliffs.

Habitat / Range

Commonly on wood and humus, occasionally epiphytic on living trees, especially Douglas-fir and alder. Usually somewhat shaded, and in forests, from sea level to subalpine elevations.
World Distribution

Circumboreal, extending into arctic regions. In eastern North America extending southward into the mountains of Tennessee; in the west to California.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References