Homalothecium aeneum (Mitt.) Lawt.
golden curl-moss (bright copper homalothecium moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© 3CDSG DND     (Photo ID #29700)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Homalothecium aeneum
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name referring to straight sporangia that characterize some species. Species name meaning bronze, in reference to the colour that sometimes characterizes the plants.
Sporophytes occasional, maturing in spring to early summer, dark red-brown.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The yellow-green, glossy plants, irregular branching, very pleated leaves and the curling upward of dried shoots from the substratum are useful characteristics. It is the most frequent species of the genus in the interior of British Columbia.
Forming mats of interwoven, glossy, yellowish to golden ­green, irregularly to regularly branched shoots, usually loosely affixed to substratum. Plants curling upward from substratum when dry.
Similar Species:
H. aenum is difficult to distinguish from H. arenarium and H. nevadense on non-microscopic features. When bearing sporo­phytes, the erect to suberect sporangia of H. nevadense is distinctive; H. nevadense is also separated by habitat being, predominantly, a species of perpendicular rock surfaces. H. arenarium is restricted to the coast and is infrequent. H. fu/gescens tends to be larger and is predominantly epi­phytic (especially on broad-leafed maple). The sporangia of H. fulgescens are suberect and long-cylindric, thus differing from the short-cylindric inclined sporangia of H. aeneum. Brachythecium a/bicans superficially re­sembles H. aeneum, but the dried shoots never curl upward and are gen­erally pale yellow-green; it is also generally terrestrial.


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

In sunny to somewhat shaded sites on cliffs, boulders and soil, most frequent in the semi-arid regions but also in the humid interior forests.
World Distribution

Restricted to western North America, mainly west of the Rocky Mountains, from southeastern Alaska southward to California and eastward to Wyoming.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Camptothecium aeneum (Mitt.) Jaeg.
Camptothecium aeneum var. dolosum (Ren. & Card.) Grout
Camptothecium aeneum var. robustum Grout