Indicator Plants

Rhizomnium glabrescens – large leafy moss

Common Name

large leafy moss

Alternate Common Names
  • fan moss


Scientific Name

Rhizomnium glabrescens

Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
  • Medium (M)
  • Wet (W)
Soil Nutrient Regime (SNR)
  • Medium (M)

Botanical Drawing

Image courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives

General / Habitat
  • Moss, forms short, loose turfs
  • Dark green to pale green
  • Most frequently found rotting logs and rocks in coniferous forests
  • Low to middle elevations
Key Identifying Characteristics
  • Form: Plants upright (to 3 cm tall) with naked stems. separate male and female plants with male plants having rose-like cluster of leaves at tip. Reddish-brown basal rhizoids (root-like structures)
  • Leaves: 3-6 mm long, spreading when wet and shrivelling when dry, oval and smooth-edged (Coastal leafy moss (Plagiomnium insigne) looks similar but has serrate leaf edges). Also if you look closely at the leaves, there is a distinctive differentiated margin
  • Sporophytes: Common, pale-brown and elongate stalks, appear in spring
  • Similar-looking mosses either have toothed leaves, filament-bearing stems, or do not grow on rotting logs

Douglas, G.W. et al (Editors). 1998-2002. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, Volumes 1 to 8. B.C. Min. Environ., Lands and Parks, and B.C. Min. For., Victoria, B.C.

Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon. 2014. Plants of Coastal British Columbia Including Washington, Oregon & Alaska. B.C. Ministry of Forestry and Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver, B.C.


Spam prevention powered by Akismet