Creeping Feathermoss - Amblystegium serpens
Creeping Conecap Moss,
Amblystegium serpens var. juratzkanum
MNPS Threat Rank
Plants: Plants in thin mats, green to chartreuse. Stems freely and erratically branched (FNA 2014), 1-3 cm in length, frequently intermingling; the branches ranging from prostrate to upright (Flowers 1973); central strand present, consisting of diminutive thin-walled cells (FNA 2014).
Leaves: When dry, leaves upright to patent; when moist, patent to spreading (Flowers 1973); slightly concave, ovate to more lanceolate; margins plane, ranging from smooth to serrulate or with larger teeth, lacking a distinctive border; apex acuminate, remaining ungrooved; costa ranging from less than 1/5 to almost the entire leaf length; alar area extending from margin a little over half the distance to the leaf attachment. Stem and branch leaves resembling each other (FNA 2014); stem leaves 0.7-1 mm in length, 0.2-0.4 mm in width; branch leaves a little smaller in both dimensions (Lawton 1971).
Leaf Cells: Basal cells usually somewhat square (Lawton 1971); medial laminal cells 3-5:1, with somewhat thick, sturdy walls, lacking pores; marginal cells 1-layered; alar cells ranging from nearly square to transversely long-rectangular (FNA 2014).
Amblystegium serpens var. juratzkanum is sometimes recognized as a separate taxon based on characteristics of the alar cells and leaf stance (FNA 2014).
Greenland; Canada: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NS, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT; USA: AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY; Mexico; Central America; South America; Europe; Asia; n Africa; Pacific Islands; Australia (FNA 2014). In Montana, known from Clark, Madison, Missoula, Park, Phillips, Ravalli, Roosevelt, Rosebud, and Sanders Counties (Elliott 2016).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Tree trunks, rotten wood, and soil in wet to dry habitats (Elliott 2016). Amblystegium species are terrestrial; they may live in swampy areas, but not in aquatic or subaquatic places. Elevation: 0-9840 feet (FNA 2014), and recently recorded at 10,860 feet (Kosovich-Anderson 2015).
Autoicous (FNA 2014), often freely producing fruit (Flowers 1973). Seta reddish, 10-25 mm tall. Capsule arcuate, 15-20 mm with a visible neck; operculum cone-shaped (FNA 2014).
- 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. 2014. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 28. Bryophytes: Mosses, Part 2. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. xxi + 702 pp.
- Flowers, S. 1973. Mosses: Utah and the West. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 567 p.
- Kosovich-Anderson, Y. I. 2015. Mosses of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, U.S.A.: New Altitudinal Records for North America. Arctoa 24:141-147.
- 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
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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.