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Oeder's Apple Moss - Plagiopus oederianus
Other Names:  Plagiopus oederiana

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Growing in crowded clumps, olivaceous to brown, not glossy (FNA 2014), 2-10 cm in height (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981). Stems upright or curving upwards, with branches sometimes forked once, with a hyalodermis and central strand, the cortical cells swelling when wet, in X-section the stem deltoid; rhizoids forming a tangled cover below, papillose (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Three-ranked, curved or twisted slightly and loosely upright when dry, spreading to ca 45 degrees (FNA 2014) or more widely when moist (Vitt 1988), 2-3.5 mm in length, lance-shaped and slender, strongly folded above; leaf edges frequently double saw-toothed above, rolled back and under most of the way; costa extending to the leaf tip or slightly beyond it (FNA 2014), the dorsal face saw-toothed distally (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981).

Leaf Cells: Lamina 1 cell-layer thick except frequently 2 cell-layers thick in the margins above (FNA 2014), the cells with tiny, cuticular lumps on the exterior cell surface (Vitt 1988); upper laminal cells nearly square or lengthened a little longitudinally, weakly ridged longitudinally (FNA 2014), not papillose (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981), becoming longer proximally, the walls thick; basal laminal cells with finer walls than those above (FNA 2014).

Fruit ripens through the summer (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The combination of deltoid stems (in X-section), lax stem cortical cells, and longitudinally-ridged upper laminal cells are important identifying characters (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981).

Range Comments
North American Range

AK, NT and NU, BC and AB s to OR, ID, and MT, also CO, ON to NL and NS, MN and IA e and ne to ME, also PA and VA (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Flathead, Lake, and Lincoln Counties (Elliott & Pipp, 2016).

Frequently on calcareous stone, in fissures and cracks of vertical cliffs (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981), humus, in slow, shallow springs. Elevation: 660-12,800 feet (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Female and male structures intermingled. Seta single, 7-18 mm tall, sometimes a little bent or twisted (FNA 2014). Capsule 1-2 mm in length (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981), 16-ribbed (Vitt 1988), grooved when dry, with a small opening; exostome sections 16, lance-shaped, russet, sometimes with tiny papillae; endostome transparent or yellow. Calyptra draping cowl-like, not hairy (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.
    • Vitt, D. J. Marsh, and R. Bovey. 1988. Mosses, Lichens & Ferns of Northwest North America. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 296 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • 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.
    • Lawton, E. 1971. Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Hattori Botanical Laboratory. Japan: Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. 362 pages plus appendices.
    • Malcolm, B., N. Malcolm, J. Shevock, and D. Norris. 2009. California Mosses. Nelson, New Zealand: Micro-Optics Press. 430 pp.
    • Smith, A.J.E. 1980. The Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 705 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Oeder's Apple Moss — Plagiopus oederianus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from