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Pterogonium Moss (Pterogonium gracile)


This medium-sized, rather matt brownish-green or brown moss often grows in pure patches. The erect shoots grow up to 4 cm long, and arise from inconspicuous, prostrate primary stems. They are bare below, but have numerous, short, curved branches above, which all point in the same direction. Each shoot therefore looks like a miniature tree, typically 2-3 cm tall, and a patch resembles a forest bent over in a strong wind. The closely appressed, overlapping leaves give dry branches a very smooth appearance, but on wetting the leaves spread rapidly. The leaves are 1-1.5 mm long, triangular, with a short, sometimes double nerve which does not extend for more than a quarter of the length of the leaf, and a toothed, acute tip. Slender, thread-like branches are often present. Capsules are rare.

Taxonomic tree

  • Domain: Eukarya

    • Kingdom: Plantae

      • Phylum: Bryophyta

        • Class: Bryopsida

          • Order: Leucodontales

            • Family: Leucodontaceae

              • Genus: Pterogonium