Rahul Sharma

Helodium blandowii

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Kingdom  Plantae
Subclass  Bryidae
Family  Helodiaceae
Scientific name  Helodium blandowii
Rank  Species
Division  Bryophyta
Order  Hypnales
Genus  Helodium
Higher classification  Helodium
Helodium blandowii calphotosberkeleyeduimgs512x768000000000213
Similar  Moss, Woolly feather‑moss, Angled paludella moss, Slender Green Feather, Cinclidium stygium

Helodium blandowii, also known as Blandow's helodium moss, Blandow's tamarisk-moss, Blandow's bogmoss, and Blandow's feathermoss, is a rare plant in the Western U.S., including Oregon and California. It occurs all around the northern hemisphere in higher latitudes, and in some places is not as rare as in the Western U.S.


Helodium blandowii Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria Helodium blandowii

Technical description

Helodium blandowii Helodium blandowii details Forestventurecom
  • Plants yellow-green, in loose tufts: ascending even though pleurocarpous, regularly and closely pinnately branched, the branches all in one plane like a feather.
  • Stems 4–11 cm long, more or less erect (quite stiff when dry), densely clothed in unbranched (but lobed) green filamentous paraphyllia becoming brown below.
  • Branches unequal, simple, widely spaced on stem, about 1 cm long.
  • Stem leaves large, more or less triangular-ovate, shortly and slenderly acuminate, somewhat plicate (concave), appressed except at the tips, with paraphyllia emanating from the decurrent leaf bases; margins plane or often revolute, entire or irregularly serrulate or dentate in the middle and lower part of the leaf; costa extending beyond the middle, 1.3–1.8 × 0.7–1 mm.
  • Branch leaves small (about 0.8 mm long) and contorted when dry, broadly ovate-acuminate to ovate-lanceolate. Autoicous, the perigonia and perichaetia on the stems.
  • Seta 3–5 cm long, slender, reddish brown.
  • Capsules rare; when present, smooth, oblong-cylindric, becoming strongly arcuate (curved) and cernuous (incurved), the short neck somewhat wrinkled, the urn 2½–3½ mm long, yellowish-brown becoming reddish brown with age; operculum conic, pointed, to 0.8 mm long; annulus of 3 rows of deciduous cells; cilia 2–3, long, and more or less appendiculate.
  • Spores smooth, mature in August.
  • Calyptra cucullate.
  • Distribution, habitat, and ecology

    This species has a circumboreal distribution.

    Helodium blandowii Helodium blandowii details Forestventurecom

    The habitat of Blandow's bogmoss is montane minerotrophic or “moderately rich” fens or mires, usually with calcareous groundwater, where it forms mats and small hummocks; sometimes it can be found under graminoids and shrubs at the edges of these aquatic features, or within them in small rivulets. Associated vascular plants include Agrostis idahoensis, Betula glandulosa, Salix geyeriana, Carex limosa, Eleocharis pauciflora, and Scheuchzeria palustris. Associated mosses include Aulacomnium palustre, Calligeron stramineum, Hamatocaulis vernicosus, Meesia triquetra, Tomenthypnum nitens, Philonotis fontana, Drepanocladus vernicosus, and Hypnum lindbergii. Fens with Scorpidium spp. or Drepanocladus revolvens, however, are too ion-rich, and not suitable habitat for H. blandowii.

    Helodium blandowii Diversity of Mosses in California Fens

    The fire ecology of this plant is not known; however, fens rarely burn. Excess soot from a nearby fire, however, might negatively affect habitat quality.

    Conservation status and threats

    U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region Sensitive Species.

    California Native Plant Society List 2.3

    NatureServe California State Rank: S1.3; Global Rank: G5

    Helodium blandowii Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria Helodium blandowii

    Fens are delicate habitats susceptible to impacts from livestock grazing, hydrologic alteration, construction and continued use of roads, and peat mining. Hydrologic alteration has caused the “well-documented extinction” of this species in Britain.

    Field identification

    Helodium blandowii Plants Profile for Helodium blandowii Blandow39s helodium moss

    This species is superficially similar to other, somewhat related mosses, but presence in a fen habitat significantly helps in identifying this moss. Its feather-like, flattened stems and branches are distinctive, as are its yellow-green colour and the presence of dense paraphyllia on the stems. The pale, yellow-green colour might at first glance look like Sphagnum, but H. blandowii can be distinguished by its pinnate growth habit, as opposed to the fasciculate habit of Sphagnum.


    Helodium blandowii Wikipedia

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