If I had to make a list of my favourite top ten common names for plants, this one would surely be among them. I’ll quote from Schofield’s “Some Common Mosses of British Columbia”: Commonly called the rough neck moss or shaggy moss because of the untidy leaves at the shoot tips. A whimsical name, electrified cat tail moss, has gained some popularity in British Columbia (emphasis added). The USDA Plants Database uses rough goose neck moss, as yet another alternative. I’ll stick with electrified cat tail moss. Had
E. E. Cummings Walt Whitman (see comments) been a bryologist, I’m sure he would have written, “I sing the moss electric.” for this particular species.
Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus is circumpolar for the northern hemisphere in its distribution, extending south into lower latitudes along mountain ranges (e.g., California and Arkansas). A broad range typically means a plant can grow in a variety of conditions, and it is no exception. Substrates for this moss species include well-drained sites in coniferous forests, on boulders and logs and, less frequently, tree trunks (source is again Schofield’s book), though Mosses and Liverworts in Wales also mentions dunes and “certain types of broad-leaf woodland”.
Photography resource link: From Guy Tal’s “The Essential Landscape” series: In the Name of All That is Good – On the Roles of the Artist, the Activist, and the Critic via Nature Photographers Online. Guy questions whether it is possible to be both artist and activist.