Syntrichia latifolia, formerly known as Tortula latifolia, frequently grows on trunks of trees but can be seen just as often growing on concrete, such as on walls and sidewalk curbs. In North America, it is distributed along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia south to California.
Plants occur as scattered tufts but are often in local abundance. Young plants or new shoots are typically yellow-green, tending to become darker with age.
Stems are usually 1-2 cm long.
left: close-up of gemmae on the leaf surface
right: a single gemma
Sporophytes are relatively infrequent.
Setae are reddish and range in length from about 5-15 mm.
The spores are slightly papillose.
This species is a fairly common denizen of street-side tree trunks and concrete surfaces in Vancouver. It can easily be distinguished from other corticolous or concrete-dwelling Syntrichia species in the area by its obovate to spatulate leaves which consistently lack hairpoints. Syntrichia papillosa, which is very rare in Vancouver, also has spherical gemmae on its upper leaf surfaces but its leaves have short, though distinct hairpoints.