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Thuidium delicatulum

Thuidium delicatulum (Hedw.) Schimp.

Thuidium delicatulum (Hedw.) Schimp. var. repens Kindb.

Delicate Fern Moss, Fern Moss

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
DivisionBryophytaMosses
SubdivisionMusciMosses (all 12,000 of them)
ClassBryopsidaMosses with arthrodontous spore capsules, which is most of them
SubclassBryidaeMosses with a double peristome with alternating tooth segments
OrderHypnales
FamilyThuidiaceae
GenusThuidium
Speciesdelicatulum

About plant names...

The delicate fern moss is perfectly named, reproducing the bipinnate or tripinnate structure of many ferns on a Lilliputian scale. These mosses are native to eastern North America, Alaska, Europe, the Caucasus, Siberia, Asia, Mexico, and South America.

Identification: “Fern fronds” are 1-3" (3-8 cm) in length, and adorn living and dead branches, as well as moist, shaded soil, humus, rocks, logs, or stumps. Fern moss may appear as deep green, yellow green, or orange-brown. The orange-brown coloration is not (necessarily) an indicator of poor health.

Online References:

Thuidium delicatulum at Ohio University

Thuidium delicatulum at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Thuidium delicatulum on Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Thuidium delicatulum at Mountain Moss Enterprises

Thuidium delicatulum on ZipcodeZoo.com

Thuidium delicatulum (Delicate Fern Moss, Fern Moss)

1/7/2012 · Beaver Brook Association Trails, Hollis, NH
≈ 31 × 21" (78 × 52 cm) ID is uncertain

Thuidium delicatulum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Thuidium delicatulum (Delicate Fern Moss, Fern Moss)

12/10/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Thuidium delicatulum (Delicate Fern Moss, Fern Moss)

12/22/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Thuidium delicatulum (Delicate Fern Moss, Fern Moss)

12/10/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Thuidium delicatulum (Delicate Fern Moss, Fern Moss)

(The oval leaves and red berry is partridgeberry [Mitchella repens.]) · 12/10/2011 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)