Scleropodium obtusifolium (Jaeg. & Sauerb.) Kindb. ex Mac. & Kindb.
blunt-leaved moss (obtuseleaf scleropodium moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Curtis Bjork     (Photo ID #22483)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Scleropodium obtusifolium
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name meaning hard foot, possibly referring to the wiry stems. Species name describing the obtuse apex of the leaf.
Sporophytes occasional, red-brown when mature in spring.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The swollen, worm-like glossy yellow to golden plants with broadly ovate leaves associated with the irrigated habitat are useful features.
Bright yellow or golden to pale green mats firmly affixed to the substratum by basal rhizoids.
Similar Species:
S. touretei is similar, but smaller, and is usually on earth in shaded habitats rather than on irrigated rock of usually well-lit sites. Some specimens of Isothecium stoloniferum of rock surfaces, espe­cially near watercourses, might be confused with Scleropodium but hand lens examination will reveal marginal teeth on the leaves of Isothecium; these are absent in the Scleropodium. Rhynchostegium riparioides grows in similar habitats to the Scleropodium but the leaves show marginal teeth and also tend to be widely spaced and divergent rather than strongly imbricate, thus the shoots are not strongly worm-like in appearance. Some species of Hygrohypnum may seem similar, but they generally have obscure or double midribs, and shoots tend not be be worm-like in appearance. Cirriphyllum cirrosum has abruptly apiculate leaves that sepa­rate it from the Scleropodium. Cirriphyllum occurs on cliff shelves, not in irrigated 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

Irrigated rock surfaces; in seepage over sunny cliffs, and on boulders or outcrops in water courses from sea level to sub alpine elevations.
World Distribution

Confined to western North America, from southeastern Alaska to California and Arizona eastward to Alberta and Colorado.