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Montana Field Guides

A Liverwort - Porella cordaeana

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Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: SNR

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General Description
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Diagnostic Characteristics
Porella cordaeana
* Size: Shoots are 3-4 mm wide.
* Lobules are about half the width of the under-leaves.
* Under-leaves do not overlap, leaving stretches of the stem visible.
* Decurrent portion of under-leaves are ruffled with a few teeth along the bases.
* Plants turn violet with iodine potassium-iodide (IKI).

Porella navicularis
* Size: Plants are glossy with shoots 1.5-3 mm wide.
* Trigones present - cell corners have the walls bulging inward.
* Lobules are neatly and noticeably revolute; nearly as wide as the under-leaves, and with an axis that diverges from the stem.
* Under-leaves are entire.
* Plants do not turn violet with IKI.
* Plants are strongly aromatic, but not acrid.

Porella platyphylla
* Under-leaves overlap.
* The lobule margins are slightly revolute.
* Decurrent portion of under-leaves have smooth, slightly revolute margins.
* Plants turn violet with IKI.

Porella roellii
* Cells walls of the leaves without their corners bulging into the cell lumens.
* Under-leaves about twice as wide as the lobules.
* Lobules are oriented parallel to the main stem, and are much narrower than the under-leaves.
* Plants do not turn violet with IKI.
* Plants taste peppery when fresh (David. H. Wagner personal communication).

Sources: Piippo and Norris 1996; Paton 1999.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 53

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Relative Density



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

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Paton, J.A. 1999. The Liverwort Flora of the Bristish Isles. Essex, England: Harley Books. 626 p.
    • Piippo, S. and D.H. Norris. 1996. A revision of Californian Porella. Ann. Bot Fennici 33:137-152.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Elliot, J. C. 1993. Second checklist of Montana mosses. Unpublished report. U.S. Forest Service, Region 1. Missoula, MT. 45 pp.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "A Liverwort"
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Citation for data on this website:
A Liverwort — Porella cordaeana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from