Thamnobryum alopecurum (Hedw.) Nieuwl.

Thamnobryum alopecurum

Thamnobryum alopecurum from the Eistobel (only german) near Isny in the western Allgäu (south germany).

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

This is certainly one of the most remarkable central european mosses. The slightly hidden main stem is prostrate. The branches ascending from it are mostly about 10cm high, sometimes even higher, and clearly dendroid. The main stem and the lower parts of the branches are covered only by skalelike leaves. The upper, ramified branches are all in one plain. It is a rather variable species, which can be formed very differently on untypical locations.

In this species the leaves itselves are placed all around the stems, not only on two sides. They are elongate ovate, with a coarsely serrate tip. The midrip is rather strong and ends in the tip of the leaf. The cells are spherical, at the base of the leaf somewhat elongate.

Thamnobryum alopecurum grows on rocks in shady and humid gorges, preferably near brooks under deciduous trees. At such locations it often forms extensive occurences. The deep green plants grow in lax and high turfs, which indeed look like little forests because of the dendroid ramification of the single plants.

The species occurs in whole europe. In germany it is not rare in the mountains, whereas in the north german lowlands it is very rare.

leaf of Thamnobryum alopecurum

Leaf of Thamnobryum alopecurum.

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