Abietinella abietina

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Abietinella abietina is more commonly known as Wiry Fern Moss.

Taxonomy and Systematics

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Bryophyta

Class: Bryopsida

Order: Hypnales

Family: Thuidiaceae

Genus: Abietinella

Species: Abietinella abietina

Descriptive notes

Wiry Fern Moss plants in dull, dark olive green to golden brown mats. Stems are up to 12 cm long, with ends arching upright, once pinnate, resembling a miniature fern leaf. When dry, the leaves are drawn in tight, making the banches look like threads, giving off a stiff and wiry appearance. When wet, the leaves spread slightly, becoming more pliable and bushy, making the plant look fuller. Stem leaves are 1-2 mm long, twice the size of branch leaves, and are triangular with pleats parallel to the strong midrib that reaches at least 3/4 of the way to tip. Leaf edge not toothed but often rolled down. Capsules are very rare, like curved macaroni, 2-3 mm long, with a short-beaked lid. Stalk is 2-3 cm tall.

General Distribution and Habitat

Found on calcium-enriched dry rocks and soils, on sand dunes and the floor of conifer forests.

Campus Distribution

Found growing in a patch on the stone wall in the recently cleared area behind Jennings, once forested.

Other notes


McKnight, K., Rohrer, J., Ward K., Perdrizet, W. (2013). Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians. Princeton Field Guides. Princeton University Press: Princeton & Oxford.

Gfredericks 19:15, 7 May 2013 (UTC)