Rhizomnium glabrescens (Kindb.) Kop.
large leafy moss (rhizomnium moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Rosemary Taylor     (Photo ID #42679)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Rhizomnium glabrescens
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name meaning "the rhizoid-bearing Mnium" in reference to the numerous rhizoids on the stems of many species. Species name indicating that the stems of this species are usually smooth (or without rhizoids).
Sometimes called Mnium glabrescens, a synonym.
Distinguishing characteristics:
he elliptic leaves that lack any suggestion of marginal teeth but possess a distinctive differentiated margin, the rosette-like apex of the male shoot, and the usual habitat on rotten logs in forest are useful features.
Forming relatively short, loose turfs of dark green to pale green plants tightly affixed to the substratum by reddish-brown basal rhizoids. The substratum in early colonization often matted with red rhizoids from which leafy plants arise.
Similar Species:
R. gracile and R. pseudopunctatum are both peat land species and less than half the size of R. glabrescens. R. magnifolium is also a species of wet sites, especially springy or seepage areas, and the stems are heavily clothed with a mat of rhizoids (R. glabrescens has few stem rhizoids). R. nudum is a terrestrial species of sub alpine to alpine sites and the leaves are nearly circular in outline (rather than elliptic, as in R. glabrescens). When dry, R. nudum leaves are somewhat opalescent glossy and are little changed in form (in R. glabrescens leaves are dull, dark green and contorted when dry). R. punctatum is difficult to distin­guish from R. glabrescens on field characters although the older stems of R. puuctatum tend to be red-brown rather than nearly black as in R. glabrescens.


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

Most frequently on rotten logs and stones in coniferous forests, extending from sea level to sub alpine elevations.
World Distribution

Confined to western North America from south­eastern Alaska to central California and inland to western Montana.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Mnium glabrescens Kindb.