Genus name refers to the four teeth of the peristome. Species name refers to the transparent leaves (when wet).
With diligence, it is possible to find tiny, rounded, leaf like flaps growing on the shaded, rotten-wood habitat of Tetraphis; these structures precede the appearance of the leafy shoots. They are clearly visible with a 10X hand lens but can be
The gemma-cup bearing shoots, the four unjointed peristome teeth and the usual habitat on well decomposed, but friable wood are useful characters.
Forming short, dense to loose, dark to pale green turfs of erect, unbranched plants.
T. geniculata is very similar but the seta has a sharp, angular bend in the middle. Aulacomnium androgynum grows in similar, but usually drier, sites and produces gemma-bearing shoots which are terminated by a sphere of gemmae that are not enclosed in a "cup" of leaves; sporophytes of Aulacomnium are grooved and have many jointed peristome teeth.
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 Source: Some Common Mosses of BC
(Red Blue List)
|Tetraphis pellucida var. pellucida
|Tetraphis pellucida var. trachypoda