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Montana Field Guides

Pretty Branch Moss - Callicladium haldanianum

Potential Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SH

Agency Status


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General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous, growing in somewhat open flat mats, green, lime-green, or brown, shiny. Stems 3-8 cm, crawling, erratically branched to nearly pinnate; branches flattened, narrowed near the ends, remaining uncurled when dry; central strand present; rhizoids limited, grouped beneath leaf insertion (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Closely-packed, upright or upright-spreading, scarcely changed when wet, 1-2 mm long, 0.5-0.8 mm wide, ovate-lanceolate (widest past the base), concave, neither pleated nor extending along stem; margins flat and smooth; apex narrowing to a long slender point; costa double and short or sometimes lacking; the stem leaves resembling the branch leaves (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Alar region in several rows, well-defined, the cells large and thick-walled, nearly square to rectangular, concave, yellow-brown; laminal cells smooth; basal laminal cells porose; medial laminal cells somewhat thick-walled, narrow and long; apical laminal cells mostly longer than 6:1 (FNA 2014).

Capsules ripen fall-winter (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
Canada: BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, QC; USA: AZ, CT, DE, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV, WI; Europe; Asia (FNA 2014). In Montana: Flathead and Gallatin Counties (Elliott 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1

(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)

Logs and stumps in forests (Elliott 2016), soil, rock. Low to moderate elevations (FNA 2014).

The extensive mat area of Callicladium haldanianum generally lacks other species (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous (FNA 2014). Seta 15-32 mm, orange-red, somewhat contorted. Capsule 1.7-3 mm long, orange- or reddish-brown, nearly erect or somewhat inclined, little curved, if at all, narrowed below the mouth; 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.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Elliot, J. C. 1993. Second checklist of Montana mosses. Unpublished report. U.S. Forest Service, Region 1. Missoula, MT. 45 pp.
    • 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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Pretty Branch Moss — Callicladium haldanianum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from