Genus name meaning substituted for Neckera, the genus in which the species was formerly placed. Species name in honour of A. Menzies, ship's surgeon and naturalist on Capt. George Vancouver's expedition to western North America in the late 18th century. Menzies collected the specimen from which the species was described.
The name Neckera menziesii, considered a synonym, also has been applied to this species. The distribution of this moss is especially interesting representing, as it does, a group of species otherwise known only from the Mediterranean region.
The flattened leafy shoots, which are usually golden brownish-green and with regular lateral branching, the frequent presence of slender, fragile branchlets, the undulate leaves, and the immersed sporangia on the underside of the shoots are all extremely useful characters. Male plants produce numerous tiny, distinctive, bulb-like branches on the lateral shoots.
Rusty red-brown to golden-brown to pale brownish-green, pinnately branched, flattened shoots that have the apex of the shoot pointing downward. Loosely attached when forming mats, usually producing attenuate, brittle branchlets as well as larger lateral branches.
Neckera pennata plants are similar in some respects but the leaves are glossy, while those of Metaneckera are somewhat dull; N. pennata also lacks fragile slender branchlets. N. doug/asii also lacks the branchlets and tends to be pale yellow-green with sporophytes on a conspicuous elongate seta, unlike the short seta of N. pennata and Metaneckera. Species of Plagiothecium are all irregularly branched, produce sporophytes on an elongate seta that emerges on the upper side of the shoot, and lack brittle lateral branchlets.
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 Source: Some Common Mosses of BC
Synonyms and Alternate Names: