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A Syntrichia Moss - Syntrichia princeps
Other Names:  Tortula princeps

Native Species

Global Rank: G5?
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous (Vitt 1988). Growing in upright, crowded clumps or patches of upright shoots, green distally, russet below (Smith 1980). Stems 1-4 cm tall (occasionally taller), frequently forked, sometimes with a central strand present (Lawton 1971).

Leaves: Incurved, slightly contorted and spiraled around the stem to varying degrees when dry, curved outwardly to broadly spreading when wet, 2-4 mm in length, 1-1.5 mm in width, cupped, spatula-shaped; margins tightly rolled out and downward proximally up to 3/4 of the leaf length; leaf tips acute or sometimes cut off abruptly; costa extending into a long, saw-toothed awn, the awn mostly transparent except for the red base (FNA 2007).

Leaf Cells: Basal cells large, transparent, smooth, and fine-walled, nearly square or a little rectangular near the margins, longer interiorly, well-demarcated from the cells above; upper cells nearly square to 6-sided, somewhat swollen, each with 4-6 papillae (FNA 2007); costa in X-section with 2 guide cells, 2 adaxial cell layers, and a strong abaxial stereid band (Lawton 1971).

Diagnostic Characteristics
T. princeps differs from T. ruralis, T. papillosissima, and T. norvegia by its synoicous state (if present); otherwise by broader basal cells, and the presence of a central strand (if present) (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
North American Range

Canada: BC; USA: states west of and including MT s to AZ; Mexico (FNA 2007). In Montana, known from Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, Missoula, Park, and Ravalli Counties (Elliott 2016).

Tree bark, soil (FNA 2007) and basic rock, on bluffs (Smith 1980). Elevation: low to medium (FNA 2007).

Reproductive Characteristics
Archegonia and antheridia usually in the same inflorescence, but apparently on separate plants occasionally. Seta 1-1.8 cm tall, red. Capsule 3-4 mm in length, russet, a little bowed, with a conspicuous neck, the peristome’s 32 reddish and papillose thread-like divisions spiraled ca 2 revolutions (FNA 2007).

Specialized vegetative propagula unknown (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.
    • Smith, A.J.E. 1980. The Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 705 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.
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A Syntrichia Moss — Syntrichia princeps.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from