Homalothecium nuttallii (Wils.) Jaeg. & Sauerb.
Nuttall's homalothecium moss

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Doug Murphy     (Photo ID #29320)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Homalothecium nuttallii
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Species Information

Species description:
Species named in honour of T. Nuttall, an important American botanist of the early 19th century.
Sporophytes frequent, maturing in spring, suberect, long-cylindric, and red-brown when mature.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The usually slender shoots and branches, the glossy, pale yellow-green colour, the frequent branching, the sub­erect cylindric sporangia and the usually epiphytic habitat distinguish this species.
Forming bright glossy, yellow-green strands or mats closely or loosely affixed to substratum, usually densely and regularly short branched and the branches coiling upward from the substratum when dry. Sometimes pendent and weakly branched.
Similar Species:
See notes under Homalothecium aeneum. H. pinnatifidum, a species of rock and among grasses is usually very regularly pinnate and is not firmly attached to the substratum; sometimes the apical portion of the plant, including its branches, coils upward when dry. In H. nuttallii the main shoot is affixed to the substratum, thus the branches curl. H. nevadense, a species of the interior, is confined to rock surfaces, and is larger and forms dense turf-like masses of congested branches; H. nuttallii is unknown from the interior.


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 epiphytic, especially on broad-leafed trees (especially poplar, maple and oak) but also on western red cedar and yew, also on cliffs; most frequently on perpendicular surfaces.
World Distribution

Confined to western North America, especially near the Pacific coast, from southeastern Alaska to southern California.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Camptothecium hamatidens var. tenue Kindb.
Camptothecium hematidens (Kindb.) Kindb.
Camptothecium nuttallii (Wilson) Schimp.
Homalothecium nuttallii var. hamatidens (Kindb.) Grout
Homalothecium nuttallii var. stoloniferum (Lesq.) L.F. Koch
Homalothecium nuttallii var. tenue (Kindb.) Grout