Rhytidiopsis robusta (Hedw.) Broth.
pipecleaner moss (robust rhytidiopsis moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Adolf Ceska     (Photo ID #13778)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Rhytidiopsis robusta
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name meaning "the appearance of Rhytidium", which it resembles superficially. Species name denoting that it is very large.
Sporophytes occasional, maturing in late autumn, red ­brown when mature.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The coarse plants, usually of sub alpine forest floors, plus the wrinkled surface of the falcate-secund leaves and the soft, not brittle, texture of the plants are useful features.
Forming mats of irregular branching, pale brownish-green, inter-tangled plants that creep over the substratum.
Similar Species:
Rhytidium rugosum is superficially similar to Rhytidiopsis robusta but the leaves have a single midrib rather than double as in Rhytidiopsis. Branching in Rhytidium is usually regular, at least in some plants, while in Rhytidiopsis branching is very irregular. Rhytidium usually occurs in dry, open sites while Rhytidiopsis is a forest species, reaching great abundance in humid, subalpine conifer forests. See also note under Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus.


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 humus of coniferous forest floors, especially in sub alpine forests, also rarely on logs especially at lower elevations.
World Distribution

Confined to western North America, from southeastern Alaska southward to Oregon and eastward to southwestern Alberta and western Montana.