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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

A Torncap Moss - Bucklandiella macounii
Other Names:  A Torncap Moss, Racomitrium brevipes

Native Species

Global Rank: GU
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Growing in uncrowded clumps of erect shoots, somewhat russet above, black, often with the leaves fallen, below. Stems 5-10 cm; no central strand present (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Flat against the stem and straight when dry, spreading when wet, 2.7-3.5 mm in length, 0.5-.75 mm in width, lance-shaped, folded longitudinally above; margins slightly turned back and down; awn short and finely toothed; costa grooved above, convex on the abaxial leaf surface (FNA 2007).

Leaf Cells: Apical and marginal cells 2-layers thick, the upper laminal cells in 1 layer; basal laminal cells at the margin quadrangular, short, with fine walls, not transparent, arranged in several rows; basal laminal cells adjacent to the costa long and narrow with very thick and slightly knobby walls; medial laminal cells with very thick, wavy walls, quadrangular, short to long (FNA 2007).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The similar Grimmia leibergii has a costa semi-circular in X-section rather than circular, thick-walled basal marginal cells rather than thin-walled, and awns that frequently extend down and along the leaf margins instead of an awn that is not decurrent (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
North American Range

AK, BC s to WA and ID (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Flathead and Glacier Counties (Elliott 2016).

Dry stones. Elevation: low to medium (FNA 2007).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Fruit produced erratically. Seta with a swan-like neck, 3-4 mm tall. Capsule carried beyond the perichaetial leaves, ochre; peristome teeth divided and with openings, orange, bearing papillae above. Calyptra unseen (FNA 2007).

Gemmae not present (FNA 2007).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Elliot, J.C., and A.K. Pipp. 2018. A Checklist of Montana Mosses (1880-2018). December 5. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 73 pp.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 2007. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 27. Bryophytes: Mosses, Part 1. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. xxi + 713 pp.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Torncap Moss — Bucklandiella macounii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from