Species name refers to a broom, from the swept appearance of the leaves on the stem.
Sometimes called "stork's bill moss" in reference to the strongly snouted operculum, or "broom moss" based on the frequently curved swept-to-one-side appearance of the leaves.
This is an extremely variable species with considerable habitat diversity; therefore, it is readily confused with several other species of Dicranum. The most useful features include the non-undulate, usually curved leaves (except in drier open nutrient-poor sites), the usual lack of abundant matting of rhizoids, and the occurrence of single sporophytes on each shoot.
Forming loose to dense, tall turfs of glossy, pale to dark green, generally unbranched or irregularly branched plants that show considerable variability in leaf orientation.
From D. majus, D. scoparium is readily distinguished on the basis of the multiple sporophytes in the former. When vegetative, these species are difficult to separate, even on microscopic characters. From species of Campylopus and Paraleucobryum the very broad midrib in these two genera will separate D. scoparium with its narrower midrib. In these genera the midrib occupies 1/3, or more of the leaf width.
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 Source: Some Common Mosses of BC
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Dicranum howellii Renauld & Cardot