Leiomitrium plicatum

The tropical moss Leiomitrium plicatum is a rare species restricted to Indian Ocean islands.

It is the only member of the genus Leiomitrium, which belongs to the family Orthotrichaceae. 

Species detail

  • Leiomitrium plicatum

    Learn more about what this creeping moss looks like.

  • Leiomitrium plicatum upper leaf cells
    Close relatives

    Find out what characteristics distinguish Leiomitrium from other genera in the Orthotrichaceae family, and learn more about its closest relatives.

  • The mountainous interior of Réunion Island
    Distribution, habitat and threats

    Find out about the locations where Leiomitrium plicatum is found, and what might threaten the survival of this rare species.


Leiomitrium on a palm trunk

Leiomitrium plicatum growing on a palm trunk. This tropical moss ranges in colour from yellow-brown to green.

Leiomitrium plicatum

Leiomitrium plicatum forms mats of creeping stems.

Leiomitrium plicatum

A close-up of the moss Leiomitrium plicatum, showing its stems and their short branches.

Leiomitrium with capsules

Leiomitrium with capsules. These release spores as part of the lifecycle of the moss. They are attached to stalks (setae) and the protective caps that cover them are hairy and shaped like a bishop's miter.

Leiomitrium plicatum branch leaves

Leiomitrium plicatum branch leaves

Leiomitrium under microscope

A branch leaf of Leiomitrium plicatum, shown under a light microscope.

Leiomitrium upper leaf cells

Leiomitrium upper leaf cells are irregularly rounded and bulging.