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Montana Field Guides

Richardson's Calliergon Moss - Calliergon richardsonii

Potential Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SH

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Moderate to large in size, yellow or brown, occasionally green (FNA 2014). Stems 12 cm or longer, simple or erratically and little radial branching (Lawton 1971); axillary hair present, distal cells translucent, with cell at the hair tip linear, short or long (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Stem leaves widely rounded and ovate to ovate-cordate, concave, base broadly extending along stem; margins smooth or sometimes a little wavy (FNA 2014), involute (rolled inwards) or flat (Lawton 1971); costa frequently forked, 1/2 - 9/10 length of leaf; alar area oblong or deltoid, well-defined, the cells thin, translucent, and swollen (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Thin-walled; basal cell walls occasionally porose (Lawton 1971); median laminal cells linear and 1-layered (FNA 2014), apical cells shorter and wider than median cells, occasionally 1-3 translucent cells with uneven walls are located immediately below apex (Lawton 1971).

Diagnostic Characteristics
In the infrequent situations where C. cordifolium and C. giganteum exhibit a short costa, Calliergon richardsonii may appear similar to them. However, C. cordifolium and C. giganteum exhibit a larger alar region than C. richardsonii (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
Greenland; Canada: AB, MB, NB, NL, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT; USA: AK, ME, MI, MN, WY; n Eurasia; Pacific Islands (New Zealand) (FNA 2014). In Montana: Glacier and Lake Counties (Elliott 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 2

(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)

Mineral-rich wetlands and shallow water (Elliott 2016).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous (FNA 2014). Brown with red tones, 4-6 cm in length. Capsule urn up to 3 mm in length (Lawton 1971), horizontal (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.
    • 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:
Richardson's Calliergon Moss — Calliergon richardsonii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from