A big thanks to Ruth for today’s write-up. Ruth writes:
Thanks to Carolina Chanis for today’s photograph.
Plagiomnium insigne is quite common on the University of British Columbia campus. Male plants are easily identified by their shoots and almost flower-like appearance. The dark green leaves are spirally arranged forming a cup-like shape at the tip. The club-shaped, dark-brown object in today’s photograph is the antheridium or sperm-producing male reproductive structure. The structure to the left of the antheridium is a paraphysis, or sterile filament. A detailed image of the moss life cycle is available from Moss Plants and More.
Plagiomnium insigne, or giant moss / badge moss (visit link for photographs) can be easily identified when the sporophytes grow — multiple sporophytes arise from one shoot, a relatively uncommon phenomenon. In British Columbia, it is the largest species of Plagiomnium, reaching 10 or more cm in height and more than twice as much in width. It creeps along the forest floor and on logs with long spindly shoots. As well as British Columbia, it is also found in southeastern Alaska and the western continental United States.
Bryophytes of Stanley Park has an excellent page on Plagiomnium insigne.