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Montana Field Guides

Norwegian Timmia Moss - Timmia norvegica

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous. Growing in upright clumps, green to green with yellow tones above, brown below, with deciduous and longer, fragile-based leaves above (FNA 2007). Stems 2-7 cm tall (Lawton 1971); possessing a central stand; rhizoids numerous (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Appressed, overlapping to curled and twisted when dry, spreading a little when hydrated, lance-shaped; sheath base (enveloping the stem) fragile and not well-developed, transparent in the upper leaves, brown to black with reddish-orange tones in leaves below; the non-clasping limb roughly toothed above, less toothed, wavy or nearly smooth below, green; transition from sheath to limb gradual; costa single, robust, extending to just below to beyond the leaf tip (FNA 2007).

Leaf Cells: Costa papillate on the dorsal surface or with terminal teeth, mammillate on the ventral surface, in X-section at mid-limb with large dorsal and ventral cells, 2 stereid bands, and large guide cells; sheath laminal cells rectangular, wider and shorter near the transition to the limb, longer and more slender near the margins, with 0-8 large, rough papillae on the dorsal surface of the lumen; limb laminal cells with high mammillae on the ventral surface, the dorsal surface smooth; cells at leaf attachment fragile and hyaline for 1 or more rows (FNA 2007).

Timmia norvegia var. norvegica: Present in Montana.
Somewhat coarse; leaves 3-12 mm in length, 0.8-1.1 mm in width; costa base deeply colored, more firmly connected to the stem than to the lamina; the upper leaves falling and frequently larger than those below, but never with bunches of loose leaves at the end of the stem (FNA 2007).

Timmia norvegica var. excurrens:
Usually smaller and finer than plants of var. norvegica; leaves 2-6 mm in length; costa base lightly colored, excurrent, not connected to the stem more firmly than the lamina; bunches of loose leaves occasionally at the end of the stem (FNA 2007).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Timmia norvegica has fragile leaf bases, unlike T. austriaca and T. megapolitana, and its sheath-limb transition is more gradual (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
North American Range

Variety norvegica: AK e to NU, BC, AB, MB, QC, NL, MT and CO (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Flathead and Glacier Counties (Elliott 2016).

Variety excurrens: AK e to NU, QC (FNA 2007).

Variety norvegica: Calciphilic; wet habitats like seepy hillsides, wet fissures and rock shelves, and streambanks. Elevation: 0-11,810 feet (FNA 2007).

Variety excurrens: Calciphilic; protected limestone bluffs near rivers. Elevation: 3-4920 feet (FNA 2007).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Stem grows through and beyond the perigonia; perigonia each with 5-40 antheridia; perichaetia each with 1-6 archegonia. Capsules generally 2.5-3 mm in length; exostome teeth yellow below, lighter in color or transparent above; endostome with 64 knobby, papillose cilia that are transversely ridged interiorly (FNA 2007).

Variety norvegica: Very seldom fruiting (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.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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:
Norwegian Timmia Moss — Timmia norvegica.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from