borealforest.org

 
BACK

Common Brophyte and Lichen Species of the Northwest Forest

TREES

SHRUBS

HERBS

GRAMINOIDS

FERNS & FERN ALLIES

GLOSSARIES
Terminology | Pictorial

   
Ptilium crista-castrensis
Plume Moss
"Knight's Plume"

Hypnaceae

Plume Moss Description

General - green to golden-green, 3 - 12 cm long; branches somewhat upright to drooping, symmetrical, feather, tapered; plumes 'well-groomed'; forms decorative mats.

Leaves - branch leaves pleated, egg-shaped, to 2 mm long, all curled towards branch below; stem leaves pleated, curled towards stem base.

Sporophytes - stalk reddish, 2 - 4.5 cm long; capsule chestnut brown, nearly horizontal, 2 - 3 mm long, curved.

Habitat

On humus, sometimes on logs, boulders and tree bases, in coniferous and mixed forest; common and often abundant across Northwestern Ontario's boreal forest; circumpolar.

Notes

This is our most beautiful feathermoss, and though it is less common than the other feathermosses in our region (stair-step moss and big red stem), it often forms large patches in the moss carpets of boreal forest floors. Occasionally, knight's plume could be mistaken for sickle moss, but that species is not so evenly branched, and it is less common. The genus name Ptilium means 'plume-like'. The common name 'knight's plume' and the species name crista-castrensis, from the Latin, crista, 'plume', and castrensis, 'of the camp' or 'military', both refer to the elegant, regularly branched plants, which were likened to the plume on a knight's helmet.

Return to Top of Page



Home | Forest Capital of Canada | About Our Website |
Ontario's North (West) Forest | Boreal Forests of the World | North (West) Forest Industry |
World Links and Resources | "Forest Finder" Search Engine | Educational Resources |
What's Happening | Contacts | Site Map |