Dicranum flagellare – Whip Fork Moss

General – yellowish-green to dark green, unbranched, 1 – 4 cm tall, usually with stiff broommossminiature branchlets with minute, flat-lying leaves growing from bases of upper leaves; stems matted with reddish brown rhizoids.Leaves – irregularly curled and wavy when dry, not wrinkled, lance-shaped, 3 – 5 mm long, pointed, concave below, tube-shaped above; smooth-edged or toothed near tip.

Sporophytes – stalk yellow to brown, single, 1 – 2 cm long; capsule yellowish brown to brown, erect, straight, 2 – 2.5 mm long, furrowed lengthwise when dry.


Rotten wood or bases of trees; occasionally on humus; fairly common across Northwestern Ontario’s boreal forest north to N.W.T.; circumpolar.


Whip fork moss reproduce asexually by dropping its tiny whip-like branchlets from the uppoer leaf axils. Whip fork moss could be confused with a less common species, fragile cushion moss (D. fragilifolium). However, fragile cushion moss has no stiff branchlets and its straight leaves usually have their tips broken off. Also, the capsules of fragile cushion moss are inclined and curved rather than ererct and straight. The species named flagellare, from the Latin flagellum, ‘a whip’, refers to the stiff, whip-like branchlets

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Maria is currently growing everything from seed that she can lay her hands on. Also playing with colours and textures to fulfill her garden desires...