Hedwigia ciliata (Hedw.) P. Beauv.
fringed hoar-moss (ciliate hedwigia moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Curtis Bjork     (Photo ID #22545)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Hedwigia ciliata
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus named in honour of J. Hedwig whose original work formed the foundation of the understanding of mosses. Species name referring to the remarkable hairs that fringe the perichaetial leaves that surround the sporangium.
Sporophytes abundant, golden brown, immersed, usu­ally apparent when plants are moist, appearing in spring to summer.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The much-branched plants that are yellow­ish-green when humid, nearly white when dry, the white leaf tips, the lack of midrib in the leaves, the ciliate leaves surrounding the im­mersed sporangium and the lack of peristome teeth make this moss distinctive.
Forming mats or tufts, firmly to loosely attached and irregularly branched.
Similar Species:
Some species of Racomitrium are similar in colour and habitat but all have a midrib in the leaf, sporophytes with a long seta and conspicuous peristome teeth. From Schistidium, the Hedwigia dif­fers in colour; Schistidium also usually has peristome teeth.


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

Usually sunny, siliceous rock surfaces in well-drained sites.
World Distribution

Almost cosmopolitan, found on all continents except Antarctica but rare in frigid climates.