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Cypress-leaved plait-moss

Hypnum cupressiforme


It is a small to medium-sized moss about 2-10 cm long. It is pleurocarpous, having prostrate, creeping stems which form smooth, dense mats. The stems are branched and covered in overlapping leaves giving the impression of a cypress tree. The stem leaves are long and thin measuring 1.0-2.1 mm by 0.3-0.6 mm. They are concave and sickle-shaped, tapering towards the tip. The branch leaves are smaller and narrower than those on the stems. The moss produces short, cylindrical and slightly curved capsules which contain the spores. The capsules are 1.7-2.4 mm long and have a lid-like operculum measuring 0.6-0.9 mm. They are borne on reddish-brown stalks which are 1-2.5 cm long. The moss is dioicous, having separate male and female plants. Hypnum cupressiforme is a highly variable species and numerous varieties have been described.


It typically grows on tree trunks, logs, walls, rocks and other surfaces. It prefers acidic environments and is fairly tolerant of pollution. Spotted on the bark of a Holm oak tree


The same moss in drying conditions can be seen here: Camera Model: NIKON D300. Exposure Time: 1/60 sec.; f/32; ISO Speed Rating: 200. Focal Length: 90.0 mm. Flash fired

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Tomas Koubek
Tomas Koubek 7 years ago

Yeah, they're not simple. Microscoping the leaves is best but decent ident. keys are not common. But from what I remember from the field, this very much resembles one species of Brachythecium. Maybe glareosum.

arlanda 7 years ago

Thanks Tomas. I do not have it clear. I know Hypnum has curled end leaves but in this case is completedly hydrated. I have some pics when it is more dried and with curled ends. I do not know, Bloody mosses are really confusing!!!

Tomas Koubek
Tomas Koubek 7 years ago

Might also be some Brachythecium ... Hypnum would have curled ens of leaves.

Spotted by

Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Spotted on Apr 1, 2013
Submitted on Apr 12, 2013

Spotted for Mission

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