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A Bryum Moss - Imbribryum muehlenbeckii
Other Names:  Bryum muehlenbeckii

Native Species

Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous (Vitt 1988). Growing in loose to crowded turfs (FNA 2014), brown (Lawton 1971), deep red, green with red tints, not often green throughout, not glossy. Stems 5-30 mm (FNA 2014), branched (Lawton 1971), catkin-like, occasionally thickly covered with rhizoids (FNA 2016).

Leaves: Dense, strongly appressed and overlapping when dry, upright when wet, deep red or green with red tints, occasionally just deep green, mostly 1-2 mm in length (FNA 2014), 0.6-0.9 mm in width (Lawton 1971), egg-shaped (FNA 2014), sometimes tending to oblong or lance-shaped (Lawton 1971), strongly cupped; margins smooth to delicately saw-toothed and flat above, curved back and downward below; base sometimes slightly extending down the stem; apex bluntly acute or obtuse and rounded; costa seldom reaching the apex, awnless (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Alar cells not distinguished; basal cells with 1 row sometimes colored; the transition to the proximal laminal cells sudden; proximal cells mostly nearly square (FNA 2014); upper and middle cells diagonal (Crum & Anderson et al. 1981) to 6-sided, 3-4:1, elongated in line with the costa, the walls moderate in thickness; margins of 1 cell layer (FNA 2014) with cells longer and more slender but not creating a distinct border (Lawton 1971).

Fruit ripens in summer (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Bryum alpinum in its small form is similar to B. muehlenbeckii. However, B. alpinum has leaves slightly rather than strongly concave, a strong rather than weak costa, and longer upper laminal cells (6-8:1 rather than 3-4:1) (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

BC to CA, MT to NV and WY, NM, ON, MI, PA nw to ME and NL, TN (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Cascade, Glacier, Lake, and Ravalli Counties (Elliott 2016).

Soil in rock fissures, moist sun-protected rock (FNA 2014), wet rock and soil, frequently near creeks (Lawton 1971) and waterfalls, occasionally submerged when the water is shallow (Crum & Anderson et al. 1981). Elevation: 1640-9840 feet (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Seta 10-25 mm tall (Lawton 1971), red, russet to purple. Capsule deep russet, pear-shaped and drooping (FNA 2014) to inclined (Lawton 1971), 2-3 mm in length; peristome double (FNA 2014), the teeth papillose and yellow (Lawton 1971); cilia long and transversely ridged (FNA 2014).

Specialized vegetative reproduction by tubers growing on axillary rhizoids from the leaves, the tubers pinkish with orange or brown tones (FNA 2014).

  • 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. 2014. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 28. Bryophytes: Mosses, Part 2. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. xxi + 702 pp.
    • Lawton, E. 1971. Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Hattori Botanical Laboratory. Japan: Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. 362 pages plus appendices.
    • Vitt, D. J. Marsh, and R. Bovey. 1988. Mosses, Lichens & Ferns of Northwest North America. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 296 p.
  • 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.
    • Smith, A.J.E. 1980. The Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 705 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Bryum Moss — Imbribryum muehlenbeckii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from