Sanionia uncinata (Hedw.) Warnst.
sickle-moss (sanionia moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Curtis Bjork     (Photo ID #22591)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Sanionia uncinata
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Species Information

Species description:
Species name emphasizing the hooked or curved leaves.
Sporophytes frequent, maturing in spring to summer. Sporangia are erect in some (usually epiphytic) populations but are gen­erally inclined and curved.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The well-drained habitat, combined with the single midrib in pleated, curved leaves, are usually enough to separate this species. Unfortunately some forms lack the pleats and can be puzzling. The pleats, even when present, can be confused as multiple midribs.
Soft, light green mats, either loosely, or firmly, affixed to the substratum; varying from regularly pinnate to extremely irregular branching, from erect or suberect to reclining shoots.
Similar Species:
Species of Hypnum are superficially similar, but lack the single midrib. Tomentypnum falcifolium closely resembles this species but it is confined to calcareous wetland; the main stem is also usually densely clothed with red rhizoids. Ptilium crista-castrensis is more regularly and abundantly branched and the leaves lack the single midrib. Comments: Sometimes treated as Sanionia uncinata.


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

Extremely variable, but predominantly in well-drained sites; epiphytic, especially up tree bases, on rock, on humus, rotten logs and even sand. Most frequent in coniferous forests but also extending into tundra and to sunny sites near sea level.
World Distribution

Extremely widespread in cooler climates at all latitudes. In eastern North America extending southward to New York State but in the west to South America, especially at higher elevations.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Drepanocladus uncinatus (Hedw.) Warnst.
Drepanocladus uncinatus var. uncinatus
Sanionia uncinata var. uncinata (Hedw.) Loeske