Leucolepis acanthoneuron (Schwaegr.) Lindb.
palm tree moss (leucolepis umbrella moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Celeste Paley     (Photo ID #30219)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Leucolepis acanthoneuron
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus named for the white, scale-like leaves on the main stem. Species name meaning spiny nerve, probably in reference to the teeth on the back of the midrib.
Sometimes called Mnium menziesii or L. menziesii, both of which are synonyms. Sometimes called "palm tree moss".
Distinguishing characteristics:
The leafy plants that resemble small trees, the white, narrowly triangular leaves on the main stem and the nodding sporangia are useful features. In male plants, the rosette of leaves surrounding the sex organs is distinctive in a dwarf tree-like plant; no other moss in British Columbia resembles it.
Forming loose to tall turfs of miniature, tree-like, dark green plants, superficially resembling tiny palm trees
Similar Species:
Possibly Climacium dendroides might be considered similar, but the broad heart-shaped stem-leaves, the more shiny ap­pressed leaves and the usual presence of a subterranean creeping stem separate Climacium from L. acanthoneuron. Pleuroziopsis ruthenica has plants in which the apical mass of branches forms a horizontally flat­tened, intricately branched system. Thamnobryum neckeroides also pos­sesses somewhat flattened branched systems but the leafy branches are decidedly swollen compared to Leucolepis. Hypopterygium fauriei also has somewhat flattened but tiny, tree-like shoots but the leafy shoots are also conspicuously flattened with the leaf on the underside of the branch much smaller than the lateral ones; this moss is a calcicole.


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 in dampish rich soil of shaded sites, especially near water courses in forests, but also an epiphyte (especially on broad-leafed maple), on rotten logs and soil over rock.
World Distribution

Confined to western North America from south­eastern Alaska to central California and eastward to Idaho.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Leucolepis menziesii (Hook.) Steere
Mnium menziesii Hook.