Ecology: Páramo and humid to semi-dry puna; on wet humic soil and soil over rocks. Elevation: 3630-5000 m (Venezuela: 4400 m, Colombia: 3630-4100 m, Peru: 4400 m, Bolivia: 4480-5000 m). Distribution: Andes and Africa.
This species may be confused with Anomobryum which also exhibits julaceous leafy stems with some species exhibiting concave obtuse-rounded leaves, and Bryum argenteum which is also typically white; both taxa however exhibit a costa that is usually greater than the leaf length, the former is commonly green to yellow or golden-brown, the latter with apices short to long acuminate. See key below (from Ochi 1980).
Specimens: VENEZUELA. Mérida: Richards 8107 (FLAS). COLOMBIA. Boyacá: Cleef 9996 (MO, U); Cundinamarca: Cleef 260 (U). BOLIVIA. La Paz: Lewis 87-070 (MO), Lewis 79-853 (LPB); Oruro: Lewis 79-65 (MO).
Key to plants silver to whitish green
1. Leaves bordered; páramo … B. ellipsifolium
1. Leaves not bordered … 2.
2. Capsules nearly erect … B. insolitum
2. Capsules horizontal to pendulous … 3.
3. Capsules nearly horizontal to nutant; operculum apiculate; widespread, at all elevations, … B. argenteum
3. Capsules pendulous; operculum weakly apiculate (ne Argentina, s Bolivia)… B. maceratum