©The World Botanical Associates Web Page
Prepared by Richard W. Spjut
January 2005; October 2006

Claopodium crispifolium
Collection site for Spjut 6200, near Willow Creek, CA, May 1980

Blue green alga colonies common among moss leaves
Text Box: Blue green alga colonies common among moss leaves

Claopodium crispifolium
Left: general mat of moss.  Individual plant removed with sporophytes. Specimen on right when enlarged can be seen to have blue-green alga colonies among many leaves.
From Oregon, Coast Ranges
Spjut 9126




  1. Spjut, R.W., J. M. Cassady, T. McCloud, D. H. Norris, M. Suffness, G. M. Cragg, and C. F. Edson. 1988. Variation in cytotoxicity and antitumor activity among samples of a moss, Claopodium crispifolium (Hook.) Ren. & Card. (Thuidiaceae). Economic Botany 42(1): 62-72.

  2. Spjut, R. W., M. Suffness, G. M. Cragg, and D. H. Norris. 1986. Mosses, liverworts and hornworts screened for antitumor agents. Economic Botany 40: 310-338.

  3. Suwanborirux, K., C.-J. Chang, R. W. Spjut, and J. M. Cassady.  1990.  Ansamitocin P-3, a maytansinoid, from Claopodium crispifolium and Anomodon attenuatus or associated actinomycetes.  Experientia 46: 117–120.  While this paper suggests that the original activity in PS may be due to a maytansinoid, the activity cannot be regarded as a random occurrence.  As indicated under another reference below, nine samples of Claopodium crispifolium collected from logs, rocks, and trees at scattered locations in California and Oregon by three different individuals, working alone, during 1979, 1980, and 1981, were all active in PS and KB, as also all samples of Anomodon attenuatus and A. rostratus.  The apparent significance of these moss species showing PS and KB activity—reinforced by their taxonomic-biological activity relationships—whether due to some symbiotic relationship with an actinomycete (Nocardia?), or other association (Nostoc sp.), has yet to be determined.  See also Spjut et al, 1986, Mosses, liverworts and hornworts screened for antitumor agents, cited above, and Cassady et al. (1990), Natural products as a source of potential chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents, J. Nat. Prod. 53: 23–41.  Nevertheless, the occurrence of maytansinoids in mosses has also been reported by Sakai, K., T. Hikawa, U. Amada, M. Yamashita, M. Animoto, A. Hikitay, A. Uin, and K. Oksoin Do.  1988. Antitumor principles in mosses: The first isolation and identification of maytansinoids, including a novel 15-methoxyansamitocin-P-3.  J. Nat. Prod. 51: 845–850.  The authors report a similar consistency in finding activity in all six samples of Isothecium diversiforme from six different locations in southern Japan.

  4. USDA Memorandum, Spjut to POSI (Plants of Special Interest) File, Claopodium crispifolium (Hook.) R. & C. (Thuidiaceae), 16 July 1980.

  5. USDA accession record and shipping list for Claopodium crispifolium, PR-50973, SPJ-5447, among other samples collected in April 1979, nine of which are shown on this one page; samples shipped to RALTECH, 18 May 1979.

  6. Summary of screening data for nine samples of Claopodium crispifolium, received by R. Spjut from J. Cassady, undated, but had to have been sometime before 1987.  The remarkable discovery here is the same screening results in PS were found in two separate samples from the same general collection area, Triangle Lake, Oregon, one sample from a single rock (SPJ-6644), the other gathered from smaller rocks, rotting logs and bark of live trees (SPJ-6640).   The handwritten notations were added by R. Spjut to the typed page after it was received from J. Cassady.  These data were also incorporated into the paper published in Economic Botany 1988, mentioned above.

  7. Spjut, R. W., D. G. I. Kingston, and J. M. Cassady.  1992. Systematic screening of bryophytes for antitumor agents.  Tropical Bryology 6: 193–202.   Includes a discussion on the recollection effort made for Claopodium crispifolium as also summarized in the USDA Memorandum by Spjut cited above.