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Montana Field Guides

A Roellobryon Moss - Roellobryon roellii
Other Names:  [Roellia roellii, invalid]

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

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General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous. Growing in large, open patches or as well-spaced, upright individuals (FNA 2014), frequently shiny (Lawton 1971), typically light green, sometimes tinged with pale red below. Stems 10-40 mm tall, not forked; rhizoids restricted to the base, scarce (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Leaves larger and dense above and forming rosettes, becoming scalelike below,
overlapping or a little bent and twisted when dry, spreading to about 45 degrees when wet (FNA 2014); scalelike leaves small and egg-shaped (Lawton 1971); leaves of the rosette 4-6 mm in length, widely egg-shaped, sometimes with the broader part closer to the distal end, narrowing above to the acute leaf tip, sometimes forming a mucro, the base extending down the stem, the edges flat and saw-toothed (seldom smooth) above, rolled back and under below, with a strong border, and the costa reaching the leaf tip (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Lower laminal cells long and quadrangular; middle and upper laminal cells shorter than those below, typically diamond-shaped to 6-sided, their longer dimension not transverse to the leaf length, fine-walled; margins 1 cell-layer thick, the thick-walled cells forming a border of 1-2 series; costa in X-section with dorsal stereid band weak to very faint (FNA 2014).

Fruit ripens mid- to late-summer (FNA 2014).

Species Range

Range Comments
Endemic to the US and Canada. AK, BC and AB, s to CA, NV, UT and CO (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Cascade, Fergus, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Lewis and Clark, Prairie, Missoula, and Ravalli Counties (Elliott & Pipp, 2016).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 4

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Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Shrub and tree detritus and humus in evergreen forests. Elevation: 0-10,500 feet (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Sporophytes seldom produced. Antheridia yellow, numerous. Perichaetial bracts rosulate, the interior ones more slender and with costa not as strong (FNA 2014). Seta 3-5 cm tall (Lawton 1971), yellow, turning russet eventually, usually solitary, occasionally 2 in a perichaetium, straight, bearing the capsule well beyond the bracts. Capsule brown, drooping, elongate, 4-7 mm in length, sometimes bowed a little, with a distinct neck; exostome teeth with a slender border, papillae, and transverse cross bars; endostome processes with openings on the keel; cilia knobby (FNA 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Elliott, J. and A. Pipp. 2016 (forthcoming). Checklist of Montana Mosses. Revised 2016. Prepared by the Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 90 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
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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.
    • Malcolm, B., N. Malcolm, J. Shevock, and D. Norris. 2009. California Mosses. Nelson, New Zealand: Micro-Optics Press. 430 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Roellobryon Moss — Roellobryon roellii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from