Pohlia annotina (Hedw.) Lindb.
pale-fruited thread-moss (pohlia moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Rosemary Taylor     (Photo ID #47063)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Pohlia annotina
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name honouring J.E. Pohl, a German physician. Species name referring to last year's growth, the significance of which is not clear.
Clusters of gemmae are abundant and pale green, especially from autumn until spring; sporophytes are relatively frequent, red-brown when mature in late spring.
Distinguishing characteristics:
When bearing gemmae, these quickly identify P. annotina. The sporangia lack any hint of glossiness, a feature of the genus. The widely spaced marginal teeth also characterize the genus.
Loose, glossy, pale green to yellow-green turfs with reddish stems, at least in lower parts.
Similar Species:
Many other species of Pohlia resemble P. annotina, and gemmae are frequently needed to distinguish them. Gemmae differ in colour and form among the species but need microscopic examination for discrimination. From Bryum, the toothed leaves and non­glossy sporangia are usually enough to separate these genera.


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

Disturbed banks, especially along water courses, trail mar­gins and in neglected gardens.
World Distribution

Interruptedly circumtemperate in the Northern Hemisphere; in North America, from southern Newfoundland southward to Georgia and westward to the Great Lakes in the east, and from southeastern Alaska to northern California eastward to Idaho in the west.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Pohlia annotina var. decipiens Loeske
Pohlia annotina var. loeskei H.A. Crum, Steere & L.E. Anderson
Pohlia camptotrachela var. decipiens (Loeske) Nyholm
Pohlia grandiflora var. decipiens (Loeske) Kuc