Timmia austriaca Hedw.
false-polytrichum (Austria timmia moss)

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Rosemary Taylor     (Photo ID #29474)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Timmia austriaca
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus named in honour of J.c. Timm, an 18th-century, Ger­man botanist. Species named for Austria, where the species was first collected.
Sporophytes occasional, the setae and sporangia light brown when mature in summer.
Distinguishing characteristics:
The somewhat sheathing often reddish-­pigmented leaf bases, the light to dark green plants, the strongly divergent but stiff leaves, and the nodding sporangia are useful features for determination.
Tall, dull, grayish green to dark green turfs, often suffused with the red-brown of the coloured sheathing leaf base and the un­branched stems; affixed to the substratum by brownish rhizoids.
Similar Species:
T. austriaca is sometimes confused with Polytrichum but the similarity is superficial since the leaves lack lamellae found in Polytrichum and the sporophyte is obviously different. The leaves that are sub sheathing will immediately distinguish it from Bryum, Mnium or Pohlia in which the sporophyte is superficially similar.


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

Forest floor, cliff shelves and crevices, usually in somewhat shaded sites from near sea level to alpine elevations.
World Distribution

Circumpolar in the Northern Hemisphere, also in New Zealand; in North America southward in the east to New Brunswick and in the west to California and Colorado.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Timmia austriaca var. arctica (Lindb.) Arnell