Dicranum scoparium

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Dicranum scoparium
Broom Moss
Broom moss (Orphan Lk) 2.JPG
Broom moss in Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Bryophyta
Class: Bryopsida
Subclass: Dicranidae
Order: Dicranales
Family: Dicranaceae
Genus: Dicranum
Species: D. scoparium

Dicranum scoparium, the Broom moss, is a species of dicranid moss, native to North America, including the Great Lakes region. It usually forms tufts or mats on soil in dry to moist forested areas. Broom moss can be distinguished by its leaves, which strongly curve to one side.


Broom moss is usually robust and coarse, forming shiny tufts with woolly stems 2–8 cm high. The leaf midrib extends to the tip and usually has 4 ridges along its back. The leaves are 3.5–8 mm long, lance-shaped with a long, slender point, and strongly toothed along the upper third. Most leaves will be folded and curved to one side, but may be wavy. Capsules are 2.3–5 mm long, urn-shaped and curved. The capsules are held on mostly-erect stalks 18–35 mm long. The operculum (capsule lid) is usually longer than the capsule.[1]


Broom moss can be found across North America (except Labrador, North Dakota, Texas and Nevada), Europe, Asia, as well as in Australia and New Zealand[2]



  1. ^ Legasy, K., LaBelle-Beadman, S. & Chambers, B. 1995. Forest Plants of Northeastern Ontario. Lone Pine Publishing & Queen's Printer for Ontario: Edmonton. ISBN 1-55105-064-1
  2. ^ Flora of North America. n.d. Dicranum scoparium Hedw.