Unveiling Zygodon orthotrichoides: The Enigmatic Moss of the Rhachitheciaceae Family

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Zygodon orthotrichoides Broth.: The Fascinating Moss of the Rhachitheciaceae Family


Hey moss enthusiasts! Today we’re diving into the wonderful world of Zygodon orthotrichoides Broth., a captivating moss species from the Rhachitheciaceae family. This little-known but remarkable moss is definitely worth getting to know. Let’s explore what makes Zygodon orthotrichoides so special!


Zygodon orthotrichoides Broth., commonly known as just Zygodon, is a species of moss belonging to the Rhachitheciaceae family in the order Bryopsida of the division Bryophyta. The species name “orthotrichoides” means “resembling Orthotrichum”, referring to its similarity to mosses in the genus Orthotrichum.

Morphology and Identification

Z. orthotrichoides forms small, dense cushions or tufts on tree bark or rocks. The leaves are lanceolate


DT_Zygodon_intermedius.jpg from: https://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/Mosses_online/47_Orthotrichaceae_images.html

(lance-shaped) and have a strong midrib that extends to the leaf tip. Leaf margins are entire (smooth-edged). The capsules (spore-bearing structures) are cylindrical and ribbed when dry, a key identifying feature.

Global Distribution and Habitat

This moss has a wide global distribution, found in many parts of


zygodon-intermedius.JPG from: https://www.bluetier.org/nature/bt-mosses.htm

Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. It typically grows as an epiphyte on tree bark, especially on deciduous trees, but can also grow on rocks in humid forests and woodlands at low to moderate elevations.


Zygo.Virid.2014-03-10-135.jpg from: https://bryobits.blogspot.com/2014/03/moss-gallery-v-z.html

Ecological Roles and Adaptations

Like many mosses, Z. orthotrichoides plays important ecological roles:

It has adapted to tolerate periodic drying thanks to its ability to quickly rehydrate and resume photosynthesis when moisture is available again. The ribbed capsules help with spore dispersal.

In Summary


Zygodon orthotrichoides Broth. may be small, but it is mighty in its own way! This fascinating moss has a wide distribution, unique identifying features, and plays valuable ecological roles in the humid forests and woodlands it calls home. Next time you’re out in nature, take a closer look – you might just spot some Zygodon magic! What other cool bryophytes have you come across on your adventures?

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