Tomentypnum nitens (Hedw.) Loeske
golden fuzzy fen moss

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

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC


© Curtis Bjork     (Photo ID #25364)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Tomentypnum nitens
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Species Information

Species description:
Genus name denoting a hairy moss, in reference to the abun­dance of rhizoids on the stem of most specimens of this moss. Species name meaning shining or polished, in reference to the leaves.
Sporophytes rare, red-brown, sporangia cylindric, curved, seta elongate, maturing in summer
Distinguishing characteristics:
The wetland, usually calcareous habitat, the erect, somewhat pinnately branched plants, the regularly pleated leaves, the glossy yellow-green colour, the usual felt of dark red-brown rhizoids on the stems and lower part of the leaf midrib are all useful features.
Forming turf-like mats of erect, regularly branched, glossy bright yellow-green to golden plants in which the stem is often matted with red-brown rhizoids.
Similar Species:
T. falcifo/ium has falcate-secund leaves, otherwise it is similar to T. nitens. Orthothecium chryseum, although it has pleated leaves, is usually irregularly branched or unbranched, lacks abundant rhizoids on the stem, and is reddish to golden-green. Homa/othecium species do not occur in marshy habitats but show colour, pleating and form similar to T. nitens. Brachythecium species in the same habitat as T. nitens lack pleated leaves and abundant stem rhizoids. Unfortunately, some populations of T. nitens lack abundant stem rhizoids; however, in such cases the habitat and strongly tapered leaves are usually diagnos­tic, although confusion with Brachythecium or Orthotheciumis possible.


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

Usually calcareous swamps and fens but sometimes on bog margins from near sea level to subalpine elevations.
World Distribution

Circumpolar in the Northern Hemisphere; in North America extending southward in the east to Connecticut and the Great Lakes and in the west to Oregon.


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Tomentypnum nitens var. involutum