Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

An Orthotrichum Moss - Orthotrichum alpestre

Native Species

Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous, growing in loose clumps or cushions of upright shoots (FNA 2014), green to deep green (Lawton 1971) or brownish (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981). Stems sometimes reaching 23 mm in height (FNA 2014), frequently forked (Lawton 1971).

Leaves: Straight, upright, loosely appressed, and a little twisted when dry, spreading, sometimes broadly, when damp, 2-3.5 mm in length, lance-shaped with ovate tendencies, tapering to the narrowly acute apex, forming an acumen, apiculus, or tooth-like point; leaf edges smooth, rolled back to proximal of the leaf apex (FNA 2014); costa subpercurrent (Lawton 1971).

Leaf Cells: Upper laminal cells chlorophyllous (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981), arranged in 1 cell-layer, somewhat round and isodiametric, with cone-shaped or 2-lobed papillae over each lumen (FNA 2014), with thick walls (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981); lower laminal cells quadrangular and long with fine walls, slightly knobby at the attachment (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

YT, BC and AB s to CA, AZ and NM, also SD, ON and NL, MI (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Carbon, Cascade, Flathead, Glacier, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Madison, Park, and Ravalli Counties (Elliott & Pipp, 2016).

Stone, fissures in boulders, on the bottoms of trees, in forests (FNA 2014); calcareous habitats or not (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous. Seta twisted, occasionally reaching 1.4 mm in height (FNA 2014). Capsule 2- 2.2 mm in length (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981), partially emerged (halfway or occasionally over 3/4) from the perichaetial bracts, with 8 prominent longitudinal ribs; stomata sunken and partially covered by adjacent cells; prostome not present; exostome of 8 teeth bent back and downward, thickly papillose, with fine longitudinal lines above (FNA 2014) and sometimes with slight openings at the apices (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981); endostome processes 8 or 16 and well-formed. Calyptra cone-shaped, sheltering the full length of the capsule, with papillose hairs (FNA 2014).

Specialized vegetative reproduction sometimes occurring on the leaves via gemmae (FNA 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Crum, H.A. and L.E. Anderson. 1981. Mosses of Eastern North America. 2 volumes. Columbia University Press, New York. 1328 pp.
    • Elliott, J.C. and A.K. Pipp. 2018. A Checklist of Montana Mosses (1880-2018). December 20th. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 73 pp.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 2014. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 28. Bryophytes: Mosses, Part 2. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. xxi + 702 pp.
    • Lawton, E. 1971. Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Hattori Botanical Laboratory. Japan: Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. 362 pages plus appendices.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Flowers, S. 1973. Mosses: Utah and the West. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 567 p.
    • Lawton, E. 1971. Keys for the Identification of the Mosses on the Pacific Northwest. Reprinted from 'Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest'. Published as Supplement No. 2 of the Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory. Nichinan, Miyazaki, Japan. 66 pp.
    • Malcolm, B., N. Malcolm, J. Shevock, and D. Norris. 2009. California Mosses. Nelson, New Zealand: Micro-Optics Press. 430 pp.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "An Orthotrichum Moss"
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
An Orthotrichum Moss — Orthotrichum alpestre.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from