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Montana Field Guides

An Aloe Moss - Aloina rigida

Native Species

Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

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General Description
Plants: Biennial, brown or brown with green tones (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), growing in loose turfs or scattered. Stems to 2.5 mm, a central strand within, the leaves forming a cluster at the base (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Curved upward and inward, and somewhat contorted when dry, erect or spreading some when wet, rigid (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), tongue- to strap-shaped, strongly cupped, 0.5-2.5 mm in length (FNA 2007), the length usually 4-6 times the width (Smith 1980); margins smooth or erratically toothed, the basal portion different from that above (FNA 2007), abruptly curved upward and inward, nearly concealing the distal surface; costa wide, flat, extending nearly or all the way to the leaf tip, bearing numerous green filaments which also overlay part of the lamina; the base lightly colored (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981) and somewhat enveloping the stem (FNA 2007).

Leaf Cells: Basal laminal cells fine-walled, quadrangular, becoming delicately-walled for a few rows, creating a hyaline border up to the shoulder of the leaf (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981); medial and distal laminal cells mostly smooth, usually long crosswise, the walls thickset; filaments 3- to 9-celled (FNA 2007), the end cell on each cone-shaped and somewhat ovoid (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981).

Fruit ripens in the summer, sometimes into fall (October) (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
North American Range

In the Northwest from YT, se to MT, in the Midwest from NE, s and sw to TX and NM, also IA, IL, ON and NU; Mexico (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Fallon and Roosevelt Counties (Elliott 2016).

Sporadic and scarce; growing on calcareous bare soil of roadcuts (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), pebbly and sandy (FNA 2007) dry soil and rock in evergreen forest and plains at low to moderate elevations (Elliott 2016).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Setae 4.5-17 mm in length (FNA 2007), sometimes contorted when dry. Capsules light brown, slender, cylindric (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), slightly egg-shaped and elongate, 1.7-3.4 mm in length; operculum with a long beak; peristome strongly spiraled (FNA 2007).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Crum, H.A. and L.E. Anderson. 1981. Mosses of Eastern North America. 2 volumes. Columbia University Press, New York. 1328 pp.
    • 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.
    • Smith, A.J.E. 1980. The Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 705 pp.
  • 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.
    • 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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An Aloe Moss — Aloina rigida.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from