| |

Exploring the Fascinating World of Wijkia trichocoleoides Moss: A Tiny Plant with a Mighty Role

Affiliate Disclaimer: As an affiliate, we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase from any of the links on this page at no additional cost to you!


Wijkia-surcularis-Mitt-HA-Crum-a-f-stem-leaves-g-j-branch-leaves-k-n-cell.ppm from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Wijkia-surcularis-Mitt-HA-Crum-a-f-stem-leaves-g-j-branch-leaves-k-n-cell_fig2_348406779

Exploring the Fascinating World of Wijkia trichocoleoides


Polytrichastrum-tenellum-Muell-Hal-GL-Sm-A-Habito-B-F-Hoja-B-Vista-general.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Polytrichastrum-tenellum-Muell-Hal-GL-Sm-A-Habito-B-F-Hoja-B-Vista-general_fig15_318217800


Pogonatum-campylocarpum-Muell-Hal-Mitt-A-C-Habito-D-F-Hoja-G-H-Detalle-del.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Pogonatum-campylocarpum-Muell-Hal-Mitt-A-C-Habito-D-F-Hoja-G-H-Detalle-del_fig5_318217800



Mosses may be small, but they play a big role in many ecosystems around the world. One particularly interesting species is


Figura-3-Calymperaceae-e-Dicranaceae-a-h-Calymperes-erosum-Muell-Hal-a-Aspecto-geral.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Figura-3-Calymperaceae-e-Dicranaceae-a-h-Calymperes-erosum-Muell-Hal-a-Aspecto-geral_fig3_262616252


Pilotrichella-flexilis-fo-nudiramulosa-Muell-Hal-B-H-Allen-Magill-Small_Q640.jpg from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Pilotrichella-flexilis-fo-nudiramulosa-Muell-Hal-B-H-Allen-Magill-Small_fig2_371060335

Wijkia trichocoleoides (Müll.Hal.) H.A.Crum, a moss in the Pylaisiadelphaceae family. Also known simply as Wijkia, this moss has some unique characteristics that make it stand out. Let’s take a closer look at this tiny but mighty plant!

Background on Mosses


Figura-17-Aptychopsis-pyrrhophylla-Muell-Hal-Wijk-Margad-a-Aspecto-geral-do.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Figura-17-Aptychopsis-pyrrhophylla-Muell-Hal-Wijk-Margad-a-Aspecto-geral-do_fig15_259822623

Before diving into the specifics of W. trichocoleoides, it’s helpful to understand some basics about mosses in general. Mosses are non-vascular plants in the division Bryophyta. They lack true roots, stems, and leaves, instead having structures that serve similar functions. Mosses reproduce via spores rather than seeds and are found in a wide range of habitats worldwide.

Morphology and Identification

W. trichocoleoides is a pleurocarpous moss, meaning it has a branching, mat-forming growth habit. Its stems can reach 2-3 cm long. The leaves are


Sphagnum-aciphyllum-Muell-hal-A-Fascicle-B-Stem-leaves-C-Branch-leaves-D-Cells-of_Q640.jpg from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Sphagnum-aciphyllum-Muell-hal-A-Fascicle-B-Stem-leaves-C-Branch-leaves-D-Cells-of_fig1_324655306

ovate-lanceolate in shape, 1-2 mm long, and have a single costa (midrib) that extends 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the leaf. Leaf margins are entire (smooth-edged).
The species gets the second part of its name from its similarity to mosses in the genus Trichocolea. However, the leaf midrib helps distinguish Wijkia from Trichocolea, which lacks a midrib.

Global Distribution and Habitat

W. trichocoleoides has a wide distribution, being found in


DT_Wijkia_extenuata_3.jpg from: https://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/Mosses_online/14_Pylaisia_images.html

Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific


Wijkia_extenuata.jpg from: https://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/Mosses_online/14_Pylaisiadelphaceae.html

. It typically grows on tree trunks, branches, and logs in humid forests from lowlands to mountains. The species is epiphytic, using trees and other plants as a substrate without drawing nutrients from them.

Ecological Roles and Adaptations

Like other mosses, Wijkia plays important roles in its forest ecosystems:

The species has adaptations that allow it to thrive as an epiphyte, such as:

  • Absorbing water and nutrients directly through leaves
  • Tolerating periods of desiccation
  • Reproducing via spores that can disperse on wind currents


Wijkia trichocoleoides may not have an official common name, but it’s certainly not a common moss! From its distinct morphological traits to its widespread distribution and ecological importance, this tiny plant has an outsized impact. Next time you’re in a humid forest, take a closer look at the mosses – you just might spot some Wijkia!

Similar Posts