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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Common Schistidium Moss - Schistidium apocarpum

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plant: Loose mats or tufts. Olivaceous to brown to black, sometimes with yellowish tones. Stems 1.2-12 cm tall. Central strand of stem in X-S is weak or absent.

Leaf: When dry, leaf is erect or curved, rarely (falcate-) secund. Leaf ovate-lanceolate to ligulate, sharply keeled distally, and 1.3-3.2 mm long. Margins recurved from base to apex or to just below the apex. Margins denticulate distally. Apex acute to sub-obtuse. Costa percurrent or excurrent as an awn. Awn smooth or faintly denticulate, usually papillose on abaxial side, and sometimes decurrent.

Leaf Cells: Basal laminal cells near margin are usually quadrate. Median to upper laminal cells are usually short-rectangular, smooth, sinuose, and 8-10 ┬Ám wide.

Capsules mature from late spring to early summer.

Range Comments
Greenland; AB, BC, NB, NL, NS, ON, QC; USA: AK, MI, NY, VT, WA, WI; Eurasia (FNA 2007). Lawton (1971) includes all states and provinces of the Pacific Northwest, and USA states of CA, NV, AZ, NM. In Montana: Carter, Cascade, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Granite, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Park, Madison, Missoula, Park, and Ravalli Counties (Elliott 2016).

Rocks in somewhat shaded sites. Low to moderate elevations (near sea level to 4,930 feet).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous. Capsules are dark red or brown, and short-cylindric, 0.7-1.3 mm long.

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • 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. 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:
Common Schistidium Moss — Schistidium apocarpum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from