Leucodon sciuroides

A Leucodon-specimen from near Unteruhldingen (upon the Bodensee, south germany).

Leucodon sciuroides (Hedw.) Schaegr.

Family: Leucodontaceae(de), Order: Neckerales(de)

The plants of this genus have arcuate ascending branches. This characteristic is the reason for its german name "Eichhörnchen-Moos" ("squirrel moss"). In dry state the leaves are imbricate, as can be seen on the picture. In humid state they are erectopatent.

The leaves are completely without midrib, but in most cases somewhat plicate. The cells are smooth.

Altogether the genus consists of 35 species. The only one, that can be found in Europe, is "Leucodon sciuroides". It usually grows on barc, sometimes as well on rocks. It rather prefers dry and light locations, where it forms brownish green, robust turfs. Vegetative reproduction takes place by small branches falling off. In this case the plants look a bit more bristly.

The species is rather sensitive to air pollution. Meanwhile it is only very rare in the german flat country. In the mountains it is somewhat more frequent. All in all the species is endangered in germany.

by Michael Becker, 8/2001. Translated: 2/2002:
Last modification: 2/2002.