Ditrichum heteromallum (Hedw.) Britt.
curve-leaved cow-hair moss (ditrichum moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Rosemary Taylor     (Photo ID #43739)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Ditrichum heteromallum
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Species Information

Species description:
Species name referring to the leaf arrangement: pointing in many directions.
Sporophytes with reddish setae and dark brown sporangia, produced abundantly and maturing in late winter to early spring.
Distinguishing characteristics:
On disturbed sandy banks, this is the most likely species of the genus to be collected in southern British Columbia and southward. The winter-maturing sporophytes is also useful.
Forming dense, dark green turfs of erect plants with erect or sometimes secund leaves.
Similar Species:
D. ambiguum, with the sporangia nearly twice as long as than those in D. heteroma//um, is a less common species near the coast. From D. schimperi, which has yellowish setae, D. heteroma//um is usually easily distinguished. D. zonatum is always sterile and restricted to subalpine cliff crevices or windswept outcrops near sea level in oceanic areas; these features are usually sufficient to separate D. zonatum and D. heteroma//um. Material without sporophytes can be confused with several species (see notes under Dicrane//a heteroma//a).


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 on disturbed mineral soil of open sites, predominantly at lower elevations.
World Distribution

Western Europe and western North America. In North America from southeastern Alaska southward to California.