Rhytidiadelphus loreus (Hedw.) Warnst.
lanky moss (loreus goose neck moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Rosemary Taylor     (Photo ID #40640)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Rhytidiadelphus loreus
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Species description:
Genus name meaning "brother of Rhytidium" referring to its resemblance to Rhytidium. Species name meaning striped, possibly referring to the striped appearance made by the pleats on the leaves.
R. loreus is commonly used to decorate shop windows and decoratively in hanging baskets of plants. Small decorative animals, in­cluding bears, constructed mainly of this moss, are sometimes sold in shops.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The red-brown stems, the falcate leaves at the stem tips, the glossy leaves pleated at the base and lacking obvious midribs, plus the rather coarse, relatively regularly branched plants, are useful features. The species is predominantly on forest floors.
Forming loose mats of interwoven, brownish-green to green tinged with red (from the red stems), loosely affixed to the substratum; leaves at the tips of shoots frequently curled mainly in one direction (= falcate-secund).
Similar Species:
R. squarrosus is occasionally difficult to separate from R. loreus. R. squarrosus, however, regularly has squarrose leaves on the main stem and pleats are lacking or obscure in the leaves. R. squarrosus never possesses falcate-secund leaves at the main stem apex and is usually in open sites.


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

On rotten logs, forest floors, rocks and occasionally epiphytic up tree bases, usually in humid coniferous forests from sea-level to sub ­alpine elevations.
World Distribution

Widespread, mainly in mountain forests, in Eu­rope and on the east and west coasts of North America; in North Amer­ica extending from Newfoundland southward to Maine in the east; in the west from southeastern Alaska southward to California and inland to western Montana.