Ditrichum flexicaule (Schwaegr.) Hampe
bendy cow-hair moss (ditrichum moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Curtis Bjork     (Photo ID #24846)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Ditrichum flexicaule
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name refers to the peristome teeth that are split into two hair-like divisions. Species name refers to the long flexuose stems noted in the specimen upon which the name was based.
A closely related species, D. crispatissimum, is consistently without sporophytes, forms tall, silky turfs (to 100 mm tall, and with leaves to 10 mm long) especially on humid, calcareous cliffs and is often considered synonymous. D. crispatis
Distinguishing characteristics:
D. flexicaule is not readily separable from other species of Ditrichum based on non-microscopic features. Plants that bear brittle, stiffly erect apical branches with reduced leaves give the plants an appearance unique to this species. These forms are more frequent in open or disturbed sites. In tundra, the plants form dense tufts that become blackened within the tuft.
Forming short turfs of erect, dark green to light green, unbranched shoots that often bear brittle branches near the apex of vegetative plants.
Similar Species:
Most species of Ditrichum, at least in some variants, can be confused with each other, even with microscopic features. See also notes under D. capillaceum.


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

On mineral or humic soil of open, often disturbed sites, sometimes in cliff crevices or tundra.
World Distribution

Circumpolar in the Northern Hemisphere. In. North America extending southward in the east to Michigan; in the west to Colorado.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Ditrichum crispatissimum