Roellia roellii (Broth. ex Roell.) Andr. ex Crum
mountain moss (Roell's moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Rosemary Taylor     (Photo ID #31312)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Roellia roellii
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Species Information

Species description:
Both genus and species named to honour the collector J. Roell, a German botanist (1846-1928), who collected mosses in western North America.
Sporophytes common, red-brown and remarkably large; maturing in summer.
Distinguishing characteristics:
This is the largest Bryum-like moss; the apiĀ­cal rosettes of divergent, somewhat glossy leaves, combined with the very large nodding sporangia and the habitat on slopes in sub alpine forests are distinctive characters.
Loose turfs of erect, unbranched plants with rosettes of apical leaves, light to dark green and glossy, with reddish stems attached to the substratum by rhizoids at the base of the stem.
Similar Species:
Unlikely to be confused with any other moss except Rhodobryum roseum, an extremely rare moss in which the apical rosette is flat and flower-like while in Roellia the leaves diverge at an oblique angle from the apex. From species of Mnium it can be readily distinĀ­guished by the differentiated leaf margins of that genus.


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

Humid banks in sub alpine forests, also on forest floor, especially on slopes.
World Distribution

Confined to western North America from British Columbia to California and eastward to Colorado.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Bryum sandbergii Holz.
Roellia simplex Kindb.