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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Short-beaked Aloe Moss - Aloina brevirostris

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: S1

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Single or in thin turfs (patches of erect shoots), 0.5-2 mm (FNA 2007); stems occasionally branched (Lawton 1971).

Leaves: Tongue-shaped (lingulate) to nearly circular, very concave, 0.5-1.5 mm; margins smooth, distally somewhat wavy to fine-toothed; apex margin curved inwards to nearly open. Costa strong (FNA 2007), usually over half the leaf’s width (Lawton 1971), extending nearly to the leaf apex (subpercurrent), with filaments of 2-5 cells covering the costa as well as part of the adjacent 2-layered area of the blade (2007).

Leaf Cells: Basal laminal cells thin-walled and elongate; median laminal cells thick-walled and transversely elongate; costa filament cells nearly spherical to cylindrical, thin-walled, the terminal cell of each filament nearly spherical to almost conical and thickened at apex (FNA 2007).

Capsules maturing (March-) May-August (FNA 2007).

Diagnostic Characteristics
A. brevirostris and A. rigida are similar. However, A. brevirostris is synoicous and the operculum conic. A. rigida is dioicous and the operculum long-beaked (FNA 2007).

Species Range

Range Comments
Greenland; Canada: AB, BC, MB, NT, NU, ON, YT; USA: AK, MT; Europe; Asia (Siberia) (FNA 2007). In Montana: Cascade, Flathead, and Lincoln Counties (Elliott 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 4

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



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

Found on calcareous soil and on overturned tree bases. May also be a pioneer species on roadcuts and riverbanks. Low to moderate elevations (Elliott 2016).

Reproductive Characteristics
Synoicous (FNA 2007). Seta 10-13 mm (Lawton 1971). Capsule urn 1-2 mm in length, cylindric; operculum conic; peristome twisted (FNA 2007).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Elliott, J.C. and A.K. Pipp. 2018. A Checklist of Montana Mosses (1880-2018). Updated 3 January, 2020. 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.
    • Malcolm, W. M., and Nancy Malcolm. 2000. Mosses and Other Bryophytes: An Illustrated Glossary. Nelson, New Zealand: Micro-Optics Press.
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Citation for data on this website:
Short-beaked Aloe Moss — Aloina brevirostris.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from