Oxyrrhynchium hians, photographed by Des Callaghan.

Belongs within: Hypnales.

The Brachytheciaceae are a family of mosses that usually grow in mats or clumps. The family is distinguished by their pattern of pseudoparaphyllia, and the absence of papillae on the laminal cells (Ignatov & Huttunen 2002). More than 570 species are included in the family, making it one of the largest recognised families of pleurocarpous mosses. Members of the genus Brachythecium have irregular branches, more or less ovate-acuminate leaves, and inclined or horizontal capsules with a conical lid (Dixon 1924).

See also: Brachythecium salebrosum: some like it temperate.

Characters (from Smith & Smith 2004): Slender to robust plants. Stems creeping to ascending, sparsely and irregularly to closely and pinnately branched, branches straight to curved, complanate or not, spreading to erect. Paraphyllia usually absent. Leaves imbricate to spreading, rarely complanate, stem and branch leaves similar or not, plane or concave, plicate or not, broadly ovate to narrowly lanceolate, apex obtuse or rounded to longly acuminate; costa single, sometimes ending in a small projection on abaxial side of leaf, rarely forked or double; cells elongate-hexagonal to linear-vermicular, usually smooth, basal cells shorter, often porose, alar cells differentiated or not, forming auricles or not. Setae long, usually reddish, smooth or papillose with projecting cell ends; capsules erect, inclined or horizontal, ovoid to cylindrical, straight, curved or gibbous; annulus differentiated or not; lid conical, with or without rostrate to subulate beak; peristome double, exostome teeth horizontally striate below, papillose above, endostome with tall basal membrane and usually well-developed cilia; calyptrae cucullate, naked.

    |  i. s.: ‘Pilotrichella’ perpinnata [=Barbella perpinnata (Broth.) Broth. 1906] SK02
    |--Chamberlainia Grout 1928 SK02
    |--Streimannia Ochyra 1900 SK02
    |--Lepyrodontopsis trichophylla J87
    |--Eriodon Montagne 1845 SK02
    |    `--E. conostomus D03b
    |--Kindbergia Ochyra 1982 [=Stokesiella (Kindb.) Robinson 1967 non Lemmerm. 1908] II03
    |    `--K. praelonga (Hedw.) Ochyra 1982 II03, SK02 (see below for synonymy)
    |--Bryostreimannia Ochyra 1991 SK02
    |    `--B. turgida (Ochyra) Ochyra 1991 [=Streimannia turgida Ochyra 1990] SK02
    |--Pseudoscleropodium (Limpr.) Fleischer ex Broth. 1925 SK02
    |    `--P. purum (Hedw.) Fleischer ex Broth. 1925 SK02
    |--Scleropodium Bruch & Schimp. 1853 SK02
    |    |--S. australe Hedenäs 1996 SK02
    |    `--S. purum M08
    |--Scorpiurum Schimp. 1876 SK02
    |    `--S. cucullatum (Mitt.) Hedenäs 1996 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |--Homalothecium Schimp. 1851 J87, SK02
    |    |--H. leskeoides J87
    |    |--H. lutescens M08
    |    `--H. sericeum SK02 (see below for synonymy)
    |--Platyhypnidium Fleischer 1923 SK02
    |    |--P. austrinum (Hooker & Wilson) Fleischer 1923 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |    |--P. muelleri (Jaeger) Fleischer 1923 SK02
    |    `--P. riparioides [incl. P. mutatum] VHJ03
    |--Oxyrrhynchium (Schimp.) Warnst. 1905 (nom. cons.) (see below for synonymy) II03
    |    `--*O. hians II03 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--O. h. var. hians D24
    |         |--‘Eurhynchium swartzii’ var. atrovirens [=Hypnum atrovirens] D24
    |         `--‘Eurhynchium swartzii’ var. rigidum D24
    |--Cirriphyllum II03
    |    |--C. cirrhosum N02
    |    |--C. piliferum M08
    |    |--C. reichenbachianum (see below for synonymy) II03
    |    `--C. tommasinii M09
    |--Rhynchostegiella (Schimp.) Limpr. 1896 SK02
    |    |--R. divaricatifolia N02
    |    |--R. humillima N02
    |    |--R. menadensis N02
    |    |--R. pseudoteesdalei (Hampe) Broth. in Engler & Prantl 1909 (n. d.) (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |    |--R. sachensis N02
    |    `--R. tenella M09
    |--Isothecium FHH01
    |    |--I. alopecuroides M08
    |    |--I. comatum [=Hypnodendron comatum, Mniodendron comatum] SK02
    |    `--I. myosuroides FHH01 [=Eurhynchium myosuroides D24, Hypnum myosuroides D24; incl. I. subglaciale D24]
    |         |--I. m. var. myosuroides D24
    |         |--‘Eurhynchium’ m. var. brachythecioides Dixon 1902 [incl. Isothecium interludens] D24
    |         |--‘Eurhynchium’ m. var. cavernarum D24
    |         |--‘Eurhynchium’ m. var. debile D24
    |         |--‘Eurhynchium’ m. var. filescens D24
    |         |--‘Eurhynchium’ m. var. rivulare D24
    |         `--‘Eurhynchium’ m. var. tenuinerve D24
    |--Rhynchostegium Bruch & Schimp. 1852 SK02
    |    |--R. aristatum [=Brachythecium aristatum, Hypnum aristatum (preoc.)] SK02
    |    |--R. calderii N02
    |    |--R. celebicum N02
    |    |--R. cylindritheca Dixon 1915 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |    |--R. distratum (Hampe) Jaeger 1878 [=Hypnum distratum] SK02
    |    |--R. fragilicuspis M49
    |    |--R. inaequale Dixon 1942 (n. d.) SK02
    |    |--R. laxatum (Mitt.) Paris 1898 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |    |--R. muriculatum (Hooker & Wilson) Reichardt 1870 SK02 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--R. nanopennatum (Broth.) Kindb. 1891 [=Hypnum nanopennatum] SK02
    |    |--R. patulum Jaeger 1878 (n. d.) [=Hypnum patulum (preoc.)] SK02
    |    |--R. peracuminatum A49
    |    |--R. plagiotheciella Müll.Hal. 1897 SK02
    |    |--R. raphidorrhynchum (Müll.Hal.) Jaeger 1878 (n. d.) [=Hypnum raphidorrhynchum] SK02
    |    |--R. scariosum J87
    |    |--R. serrulatum WM14
    |    `--R. tenuifolium (Hedw.) Reichardt 1870 (see below for synonymy) SK02
    |         |--R. t. var. tenuifolium SK02 (see below for synonymy)
    |         `--R. t. var. howeanum Broth. & Watts 1915 SK02
    |--Eurhynchium Bruch & Schimp. 1854 SK02
    |    |--*E. striatum [=Hypnum striatum] II03
    |    |--E. abbreviatum D24 [=E. praelongum var. abbreviatum D24; incl. E. schleicheri M08, Hypnum schleicheri D24]
    |    |--E. angustirete M08
    |    |--E. asperipes (Mitt.) Dixon 1927 [=Hypnum asperipes] SK02
    |    |--E. circinatum [=Hypnum circinatum] D24
    |    |--E. cirrosum [=Brachythecium cirrosum, Hypnum cirrosum] D24
    |    |--E. crassinervium VHJ03 [=Hypnum crassinervium D24]
    |    |--E. curvisetum [=Hypnum curvisetum, Rhynchostegium curvisetum] D24
    |    |--E. laevisetum Geh. 1876 [=Rhynchostegium laevisetum; incl. Oxyrrhynchium howeanum Broth. & Watts 1915] SK02
    |    |--E. meridionale [=Hypnum meridionale] D24
    |    |--E. murale [=Hypnum murale, Rhynchostegium murale] D24
    |    |    |--E. m. var. murale D24
    |    |    |--E. m. var. complanatum D24
    |    |    `--E. m. var. julaceum D24
    |    |--E. myurum [=Hypnum myurum, Isothecium myurum; incl. I. viviparum] D24
    |    |    |--E. m. var. myurum D24
    |    |    `--E. m. var. minus [=Isothecium myosuroides var. minus] D24
    |    |--E. piliferum [=Hypnum piliferum] D24
    |    |--E. pulchellum (Hedw.) Jenn. 1913 JR-SM-G05
    |    |--E. pumilum (Wilson) Schimp. 1856 SK02 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--E. remotifolium (Greville) Jaeger 1878 [=Hypnum remotifolium, Oxyrrhynchium remotifolium] SK02
    |    |--E. rotundifolium [=Hypnum rotundifolium, Rhynchostegium rotundifolium] D24
    |    |--E. rusciforme [=Hypnum rusciforme, Rhynchostegium rusciforme; incl. H. ruscifolium] D24
    |    |    |--E. r. var. rusciforme D24
    |    |    |--E. r. var. alopecuroides D24
    |    |    |--E. r. var. atlanticum D24
    |    |    |--E. r. var. inundatum D24
    |    |    `--E. r. var. prolixum D24
    |    |--E. speciosum (Brid.) Jur. 1863 SK02 [=Hypnum speciosum D24]
    |    |--E. striatulum [=Hypnum striatulum] D24
    |    |--E. strigosum [=Hypnum strigosum] D24
    |    |    |--E. s. var. strigosum D24
    |    |    |--E. s. var. diversifolium D24
    |    |    |--E. s. var. imbricatum [incl. E. strigosum var. praecox] D24
    |    |    `--E. s. var. scabrisetum D24
    |    |--E. teesdalei [=Hypnum teesdalei] D24
    |    |--E. tenellum [=Hypnum tenellum, Rhynchostegium tenellum; incl. H. algirianum] D24
    |    |    |--E. t. var. tenellum D24
    |    |    `--E. t. var. scabrellum [=Hypnum scabrellum; incl. H. litoreum] D24
    |    `--E. tommasinii [incl. E. vaucheri] D24
    `--Brachythecium Schimp. 1853 SK02
         |--B. albicans (Hedw.) Schimp. 1853 SK02 [=Chamberlainia albicans (Hedw.) Rob. 1962 SK02, Hypnum albicans D24]
         |--B. brachycladum N02
         |--B. buchananii N02
         |--B. caespitosum [=Hypnum caespitosum, Scleropodium caespitosum] D24
         |--B. campestre [=Chamberlainia campestris (Müll.Hal.) Rob. 1962, Hypnum campestre] SK02
         |--B. curvatulum N02
         |--B. falcatulum N02
         |--B. formosanum N02
         |--B. glaciale [=Hypnum glaciale] D24
         |    |--B. g. var. glaciale D24
         |    `--B. g. var. subsecundum D24
         |--B. glareosum [=Hypnum glareosum] D24
         |--B. illecebrum [=Hypnum illecebrum, Scleropodium illecebrum] D24
         |--B. kamounense N02
         |--B. latinervium Hedenäs 1996 SK02
         |--B. longicuspidatum N02
         |--B. longidens D03b
         |--B. mildeanum (Schimp.) Milde 1862 SK02 [=Hypnum mildeanum D24]
         |--B. morenoi D03b
         |--B. obsoletinerve N02
         |--B. pachytheceum N02
         |--B. paradoxum (Hooker & Wilson) Jaeger 1878 [=Hypnum paradoxum] SK02
         |--B. plicatum [=Hypnum plicatum, Lesquereuxia plicata, Ptychodium plicatum] D24
         |--B. plumosum (Hedw.) Schimp. 1853 SK02 (see below for synonymy)
         |    |--B. p. var. plumosum D24
         |    `--B. p. var. homomallum D24
         |--B. populeum [=Hypnum populeum] D24
         |    |--B. p. var. populeum D24
         |    `--B. p. var. majus D24
         |--B. procumbens N02
         |--B. purum [=Hypnum purum] D24
         |--B. reflexum [=Hypnum reflexum] D24
         |    |--B. r. var. reflexum D24
         |    `--B. r. var. micropus D24
         |--B. rivulare Schimp. 1853 SK02 [=Hypnum rivulare D24]
         |    |  i. s.: B. r. f. homomalla D24
         |    |--B. r. var. rivulare D24
         |    |--B. r. var. cataractarum D24
         |    |--B. r. var. chrysophyllum D24
         |    |--B. r. var. latifolium D24
         |    `--B. r. var. tenue D24
         |--B. rutabulum (Hedw.) Schimp. 1853 [=Hypnum rutabulum; incl. B. novae-valesiae Geh. 1876] SK02
         |    |--B. r. var. rutabulum D24
         |    |--B. r. var. longisetum D24
         |    |--B. r. var. plumulosum D24
         |    `--B. r. var. robustum D24
         |--B. salebrosum (Weber & Mohr) Schimp. 1853 (see below for synonymy) SK02
         |    |--B. s. var. salebrosum D24
         |    `--B. s. var. palustre [incl. B. salebrosum var. mildei] D24
         |--B. sericeo-virens D03b
         |--B. spegazzinii D03b
         |--B. spurio-albicans D03b
         |--B. starkei [=Hypnum starkei; incl. H. curtum] D24
         |--B. stereopoma J87
         |--B. subpilosum D03b
         |--B. subplicatum A49
         |--B. trachypodium D24
         |--B. velutinum FHH01 [=Hypnum velutinum D24]
         |    |--B. v. var. velutinum D24
         |    |--B. v. var. intricatum D24
         |    `--B. v. var. praelongum D24
         |--B. wichurae N02
         `--B. zanonii J87

Nomina nuda: Brachythecium cuspidarioides Dusén 1903 D03b
             Brachythecium majusculum Dusén 1903b
             Brachythecium sericeo-nitens Dusén 1903 D03a
             Brachythecium subtilicaule Dusén 1903 D03b
             Brachythecium turgens Dusén 1903 D03b
             Isothecium serpens Dusén 1903 D03b
             Rhynchostegium byssicladum Dusén 1903 D03b
             Rhynchostegium latifolium Geh. 1876 SK02
             Rhynchostegium mollissimum Dusén 1903 D03b
             Rhynchostegium obtusissimum Geh. 1876 [=R. obtusum Mitt. 1882] SK02
             Rhynchostegium strictiusculum Broth. ex Bailey 1891 [=R. strictifolium Broth. ex Paris 1898] SK02

Brachythecium plumosum (Hedw.) Schimp. 1853 SK02 [=Hypnum plumosum D24; incl. B. kayseri Geh. 1876 SK02, H. pseudoplumosum SK02]

Brachythecium salebrosum (Weber & Mohr) Schimp. 1853 [=Hypnum salebrosum, Chamberlainia salebrosa (Weber & Mohr) Rob. 1962] SK02

Cirriphyllum reichenbachianum [=Hypnum reichenbachianum, Eurhynchium velutinoides (nom. illeg.); incl. Hypnum flotowianum, Cirriphyllum floto-wianum] II03

Eurhynchium pumilum (Wilson) Schimp. 1856 SK02 [=Hypnum pumilum Hooker & Wilson ex Hampe 1880 (n. n.) D24, SK02, Rhynchostegiella pumila (Wilson) Warb. 1962 SK02; incl. H. pallidirostre D24]

Homalothecium sericeum SK02 [=Camptothecium sericeum D24, Hypnum sericeum D24, Pleuropus sericeus D24; incl. Homalothecium australiense Dixon 1948 SK02]

Kindbergia praelonga (Hedw.) Ochyra 1982 II03, SK02 [=Hypnum praelongum II03, Eurhynchium praelongum (Hedw.) Schimp. 1854 SK02, Oxyrrhynchium praelongum II03; incl. Hypnum praelongum var. stokesii D24, II03, Eurhynchium stokesii II03, *Kindbergia stokesii II03]

Oxyrrhynchium (Schimp.) Warnst. 1905 (nom. cons.) [=Eurhynchium subg. Oxyrrhynchium Schimp. in Bruch et al. 1854] II03

*Oxyrrhynchium hians II03 [=Hypnum hians II03, Eurhynchium hians II03; incl. H. anomalum D24, E. swartzii D24, H. swartzii II03]

Platyhypnidium austrinum (Hooker & Wilson) Fleischer 1923 [=Hypnum austrinum, Eurhynchium austrinum, Oxyrrhynchium austrinum; incl. Hypnum austroalpinum Hampe 1860, Brachythecium austroalpinum (Hampe) Jaeger 1878, H. moorei, Platyhypnidium moorei, Rhynchostegium moorei] SK02

Rhynchostegiella pseudoteesdalei (Hampe) Broth. in Engler & Prantl 1909 (n. d.) [=Hypnum pseudoteesdalei, Eurhynchium pseudoteesdalei, Rhynchostegium pseudoteesdalei] SK02

Rhynchostegium cylindritheca Dixon 1915 [=Eriodon cylindritheca (Dixon) Dixon & Sainsbury 1945; incl. Helicodontiadelphus australiensis, Helicodontium colliei (nom. inv.)] SK02

Rhynchostegium laxatum (Mitt.) Paris 1898 [=Hypnum laxatum, H. luxatum (l. c.), Rhynchostegium taxatum (l. c.); incl. H. dentiferum Hampe 1860, R. dentiferum (Hampe) Jaeger 1878, R. elusum, Hypnum pseudomurale, R. pseudomurale (Hampe) Jaeger 1878] SK02

Rhynchostegium muriculatum (Hooker & Wilson) Reichardt 1870 SK02 [=Hypnum muriculatum SK02, Eurhynchium muriculatum SK02, E. muricatulum (l. c.) M49, Rhynchostegiella muriculata (Hooker & Wilson) Broth. 1909 SK02; incl. Hypnum pterocladum (nom. inv.) SK02]

Rhynchostegium tenuifolium (Hedw.) Reichardt 1870 [=Hypnum tenuifolium, Amblystegiella tenuifolia, Helicodontium tenuifolium (nom. inv.), Isothecium tenuifolium] SK02

Rhynchostegium tenuifolium
(Hedw.) Reichardt 1870 var. tenuifolium SK02 [incl. Hypnum collatum SK02, Rhynchostegium collatum SK02, H. confertum (nom. inv.) SK02, Eurhynchium confertum D24, Rhynchostegium confertum D24, Hypnum collatum var. laxifolium SK02, H. collatum var. minus non H. cupressiforme var. minus SK02, H. radicole (nom. inv.) SK02, H. subclavatum SK02, Rhynchostegium subclavatum SK02]

Scorpiurum cucullatum (Mitt.) Hedenäs 1996 [=Hypnum cucullatum Mitt. 1856, Eurhynchium cucullatum (Mitt.) Stone & Scott 1973, Rhychostegiella cucullata, Rhynchostegium cucullatum; incl. Hypnum convolutifolium Hampe 1860, Amblystegium convolutifolium, Rhynchostegiella convolutifolia, Rhynchostegium convolutifolium, Rhynchostegiella subconvolutifolia Broth. & Watts 1912] SK02

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A49] Allison, K. W. 1949. Description of a new species with notes and localities for some Otago and Southland mosses. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 77 (2): 278–283.

[D24] Dixon, H. N. 1924. The Student's Handbook of British Mosses 3rd ed. V. V. Sumfield: Eastbourne.

[D03a] Dusén, P. 1903a. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[D03b] Dusén, P. 1903b. Patagonian and Fuegian mosses. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 63–126. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[FHH01] Frey, W., M. Hofmann & H. H. Hilger. 2001. The gametophyte-sporophyte junction: unequivocal hints for two evolutionary lines of archegoniate land plants. Flora 196: 431–445.

[II03] Ignatov, M. S., & P. Isoviita. 2003. (1579) Proposal to conserve the name Oxyrrhynchium (Brachytheciaceae, Musci) with a conserved type. Taxon 52: 352–354.

[JR-SM-G05] Johansen, R. M., A. P. Retana-Salazar & A. Mojica-Guzmán. 2005. A review of the New World bryophyte-feeding genus Wegenerithrips Johansen 1983 (Insecta, Thysanoptera, Thripidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 85 (1): 61–83.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1–136.

[M08] Marstaller, R. 2008. Moosgesellschaften am Südrand des Kyffhäusergebirges bei Bad Frankenhausen (Kyffhäuserkreis). 130. Beitrag zur Moosvegetation Thüringens. Mauritiana 20 (2): 289–348.

[M09] Marstaller, R. 2009. Die Moosgesellschaften des geplanten Naturschutzgebietes "Brandenburg und Göringer Stein" bei Göringen (Wartburgkreis, Eisenach). 136. Beitrag zur Moosvegetation Thüringens. Mauritiana 20 (3): 529–557.

[M49] Martin, W. 1949. Distribution of the mosses indigenous to New Zealand (supplement no. 1). Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 77 (3): 355–360.

[N02] Negi, H. R. 2002. Abundance and diversity of moss communities of Chopta-Tunganath in the Garhwal Himalaya. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 418–433.

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[SK02] Streimann, H., & N. Klazenga. 2002. Catalogue of Australian Mosses. Flora of Australia Supplementary Series 17. Australian Biological Resources Study: Canberra.

[VHJ03] Vanderpoorten, A., L. Hedenäs & A.-L. Jacquemart. 2003. Differentiation in DNA fingerprinting and morphology among species of the pleurocarpous moss genus, Rhytidiadelphus (Hylocomiaceae). Taxon 52: 229–236.

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Last updated: 7 January 2018.

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