Photo: Neil Uelman


• Brooks JR. 2021. A flora of the mosses of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon and California. Madroño 68: 257-282.

• Carter BE. 2021. A preliminary checklist of the bryophytes of San Luis Obispo County, California. Madroño 68: 141-162.

• Carter BE. 2015. A Checklist of the Bryophytes of the California Channel Islands. Madroño 62: 186-207.

• Dillingham CP. 2015. A Catalogue of the Mosses of Plumas National Forest, California. Madroño 62: 209-240.

• Hutton D, Game JC, Ludwig KF, Jauregui-Lazo J, Tan BC. 2021. A bryophyte Inventory of Mount Diablo, Contra Costa County, California.  Madroño 68: 163-190.

• Kellman K. 2003. A Catalog of the Mosses of Santa Cruz County, California. Madroño 50: 61-82Update A.

• Rae SP. 2021. A preliminary specimen-based catalogue of the moss species found In Napa County, California. Madroño 68: 191-208.

• Shevock JR, Toren DR, Wagner DH. 2021. Bryoflora of the Russian Wilderness and adjacent slopes of the Salmon Mountains, Klamath National Forest, Siskiyou County, California. Madroño 68: 209-256.

• Shevock J, Toren D. 2001. Catalogue of the Mosses for the City and County of San Francisco, California. Madroño 48: 1-16.

• Toren DR. 2015. A Moss Flora of Lake County, California. Madroño 62: 241-268.



General Treatments

• Mosses of the San Francisco Bay Area by Alan Whittemore—a nice key that limits the possible species to those known from the Bay Area. As such, it is much simpler than the Norris & Shevock key. Last updated 2020.

• A Perspective Oriented Guide to the Identification of North American Bryophytes by Malcom Sargent and Diane Lucas—a non-dichotomous “key” to all North American bryophyte genera. Last updated January 2010. This “key” is targeted toward those who have had at least some beginner training. It starts with matching your specimen to a group, and then going to a set of choices within that group. The mosses are in web format, liverworts and hornworts are available in MS Word or PDF formats.

• Key to the Subulate Leaved Mosses of the Central Coast of California, by Ken Kellman—this key works across the subulate leaved genera, including Dicranella, Ditrichum, Pleuridium etc.

• Sagar T, Wilson P. 2009. Niches of Common Bryophytes in a Semi-Arid Landscape. The Bryologist 112: 30-41

Families and Genera

• The original Flora of North America key to the Bryaceous genera by John Spence—the key to genera in the Bryaceae in FNA was changed during the editing process so that the tuber-bearing Gemmabryum species were omitted. This is the original key submitted by Spence, which lacks that error.

• Keys to the Bryaceae of California by John Spence.

• Spence JR, Kellman KM. 2015. New and Interesting Species of Gemmabryum J.R. Spence & H.P. Ramsay (Bryaceae, Bryopsida) From California and the West. Madroño 62: 124-135

• Grimmia organized by subgenera by Roxanne Hastings—Grimmia is a taxonomically contentious genus. Once Schistidium and a couple other smaller genera were removed, there remained 4 subgroups that for the most part are morphologically consistent. However, much of the bryological community has resisted formal recognition of these groups as genera or even subgenera, because there are very many plants that either don’t fit anywhere in this scheme, or are intermediate between two groups. Nonetheless, if we put the systematics aside and use these groups as tools to break up the genus into bite sized pieces, identification of the plant in California is much easier. This key gives you the tool to place your plant in one of these groups, and then keys out each group.

• Kellman K. 2011. Grimmia vaginulata, (Bryopsida, Grimmiaceae) a New Species from the Central Coast of California. Madroño 58: 190-198

• Plagiotheciaceae character chart and Plagiotheciaceae keys by Diane Lucas—years ago, Plagiothecium was a very large and poorly defined genus. In 1969, Ireland split it up into several genera that at first glance also seem confusing. These charts and keys sort out all of the important characters. Like all difficult groups, once you can separate them out into the smaller components, your work is much easier. The chart separates the family into genera with a spreadsheet approach, and the keys are dichotomous, with charts for each genus are at the bottom. These charts will mostly benefit bryologists in the east.

• Yip KL, Wilson P, Toren D, Kellman KM. 2007. Pleuridium mexicanum (Ditrichaceae) New to the U.S.A. from California. The Bryologist 110: 510-513.

• Genera of the Pottiaceae: Mosses of Harsh Environments (free download) by Richard H Zander (1993) Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. ISBN: 0-944032-51-6.

• Racomitrioideae of Oregon by David Wagner—this is a wonderful illustrated key written to take full advantage of the computer. Each option in a couplet is accompanied by a microphotograph that makes the choice straightforward. Another great feature is the trail of bread crumbs that tracks your progress through the key, making it easy to go back to an early branch. Even though the work was produced for Oregon, the key works very well throughout the Pacific Northwest.

• A Synopsis of Recent Literature on the Genus Syntrichia in the Northern Hemisphere by Ken Kellman—Syntrichia is a big problem genus, and this paper does not solve the problem. What it does do is gather all of the literature pertaining to species described in the Northern Hemisphere, and present a key to all of those species. In North America particularly, you will still find numerous specimens that do not match any known plant.

• Kellman K. 2008. Syntrichia Sucrosa Sp. Nov. (Pottiaceae), A New Species from California. The Bryologist 111: 676-684

• Kellman K. 2012. Tortula brevissima Schiffn., New to North America. Evansia 29: 50-53.

• Systematics and ecology of the moss genus Scleropodium (Brachytheciaceae) by Ben Carter. Includes key, descriptions and drawings.


• The Amazing Design of a Moss LeafBryostring. By James R. Shevock.

• Hydroids—a pictorial explanation of hydroids and other thick cells in cross sections of stems and leaves. By Ken Kellman.


Liverworts and Hornworts

• Bryophyte Flora of North America, Vol 3—the generic treatments to be collated in the as yet unpublished third volume, are an invaluable resource.

• Key to California Liverworts and Hornworts by Alan Whittemore—these keys cover the same territory as Doyle and Stotler, but a second key can often shed light on a problem identification. Last updated 2020.

• Updated hornwort keys and treatments including Phaeoceros proskaueri by Ken Kellman—Phaeoceros proskaueri was described after the publication of Doyle and Stotler. These keys and treatment integrate the new species. They are sized to cut and paste into Doyle and Stotler.


Generic index to Bryophyte Flora of North America, Vol 27, sized to fit in the very back cover of the book

Generic index to Crum & Anderson‘s Mosses of eastern North America

Generic index to Allen‘s Maine Mosses

Generic index to Damsholt‘s Nordic Liverworts and Hornworts, by Diane Lucas

Generic index to Paton‘s Liverwort Flora of the British Isles, by Diane Lucas

Brachytheciastrum velutinum