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Montana Field Guides

Yellow Starry Feather-moss - Campylium stellatum
Other Names:  Star Campylium Moss

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Dense tufts. Green to yellow-green, often golden-green, and becoming brown with age. Stems ascending to erect.

Leaves: When dry, little contorted, but spreading enough to look starry. When wet, squarrose to erect-spreading (appears starry), ovate, gradually to abruptly narrowed from an ovate to cordate base to the long, channeled apex. Leaves 1.2-2.5 x 0.4-1.0 mm long. Margins plane or involute near the apex and entire (rarely serrulate at base). Costa absent or short and either single or double.

Leaf Cells: Cell walls thick and sometimes pitted near base. Median cells 34-86 x 6-8 µm. Alar cells differentiated, enlarged, and inflated, rectangular to rounded, cell walls pitted, and 16-56 x 16-26 µm.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Wet or dry, the leaves spread, giving a starry appearance.

Range Comments
Greenland; Canada: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NS, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT; United States: AK, CO, CT, GA, IA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NM, NY, NC, OH, PA, VT, WA, WI, WY; Mexico; West Indies (Haiti); Central America (Guatemala); Eurasia; Pacific Islands (New Zealand) (FNA 2014). In Montana: Carbon, Fergus, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Lake, Lincoln, Ravalli, and Teton Counties (Elliott 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 28

(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)

On wet soil in bogs, springs, swamps, moist places (Lawton 1971), and other mineral-rich wetlands (Elliott 2016).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Seta is 1.5-3.0 mm tall. Capsules are 1.5-3.0 mm long.

  • 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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    • Flowers, S. 1973. Mosses: Utah and the West. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 567 p.
    • 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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Citation for data on this website:
Yellow Starry Feather-moss — Campylium stellatum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from