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isopterygium moss

Habit Plants small, in thin to dense mats, whitish to yellowish.

to 2(–5) cm, 0.5–1.5(–3) mm wide.


erect-spreading, not or slightly wrinkled when dry, ovate to lanceolate, 0.7–1.8 × 0.2–0.6 mm;

margins plane, serrulate to entire proximally, serrate to serrulate distally, rarely entire throughout;

alar cells short-rectangular, quadrate, or transversely elongate, 12–38 × 10–20 µm, region small;

medial laminal cells often flexuose, linear-fusiform, 52–151 × 5–8 µm.


yellow to reddish brown, 0.5–1.5 cm.


cernuous, rarely erect, light brown to orange-brown, 0.5–2 mm;

operculum conic-apiculate to obliquely short-rostrate.


9–14 µm.


asexual reproduction sometimes present as filaments on stems, multicellular, green or brown, simple or branched, often more than 0.5 mm, cells papillose.

Isopterygium tenerum

Phenology Spores 9-14 µm, mature spring–summer.
Habitat Dry wooded regions, swamps, wet roadside ditches, base of trees, rotten logs, stumps, sandy soil, sedimentary rock
Elevation low to moderate elevations (0-400 m) (low to moderate elevations (0-1300 ft))
from FNA
AL; AR; DC; DE; FL; GA; KY; LA; MA; MD; MO; MS; NC; NJ; NY; OH; SC; TN; TX; VA; NS; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies; s Europe (Italy)
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Isopterygium tenerum is common in Florida and the Gulf Coast, becoming infrequent northward, occurring in scattered localities to southern New York and disjunct to southern Nova Scotia. The species is extremely variable, and several varieties have been described from North American plants. These varieties, based on leaf shape and length, are believed to be environmental forms and are therefore included in the synonymy. A biometric analysis by P. L. Redfearn (1956) on the stem leaf variation reached a similar conclusion.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 28, p. 553.
Parent taxa Hypnaceae > Isopterygium
Sibling taxa
I. tenerifolium
Synonyms Hypnum tenerum, H. albulum, H. chapmanii, H. fulvum, H. micans, I. drummondii, I. fulvum, I. groutii, I. micans, I. micans var. latifolium, I. micans var. minus, Isothecium tenerum, Plagiothecium fulvum, P. groutii, P. micans, P. micans var. fulvum, Rhaphidostegium ludovicianum, Rhynchostegium micans
Name authority (Swartz) Mitten: J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 12: 499. (1869)
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