Dicranum tauricum Sap.
broken-leaf moss (dicranum moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Steven Joya     (Photo ID #8208)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Dicranum tauricum
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Species Information

Species description:
Species name from the Taurus Mountains, Turkey, where the specimen was collected.
Sporophytes infrequent near the coast but rather com­mon in interior humid forests. The broken-off leaf tips probably serve in propagation.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The rigid, straight leaves with very brittle tips that are often broken off, combined with the usual forested sites where this moss occurs, are very diagnostic. The erect sporophytes are also useful when present.
Forming turfs or tufts of light to dark green, rather rigid plants with brittle leaf tips.
Similar Species:
D. fragilifolium also has brittle leaf tips but the spo­rangia are curved and grooved when mature rather than erect and smooth, as in D. tauricum. Material lacking sporophytes cannot be dis­tinguished from D. tauricum on hand lens characters. Tortella fragilis also has brittle leaf tips but has yellow-green, dull leaves and is found on calcareous rock rather than wood.


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

Most commonly on rotten logs in coniferous forest but also on living trees, tree stumps, and rarely on cliff crevices, from sea level to subalpine forests.
World Distribution

Widespread, but never frequent in Europe; widespread in western North America from southeastern Alaska to middle California along the Pacific coast and extending eastward to northern Colorado and South Dakota.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Dicranum strictum Schleich. ex Mohr