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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Black Golf Club Moss - Catoscopium nigritum

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S1

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous. In crowded dark- or brownish-green patches (Lawton 1971) of erect, reddish-black stems. Stems upright, to 6 cm, forked (FNA 2014) with many rhizoids (Lawton 1971).

Leaves: Stem leaves in three vertical lines, upright-spreading when wet, contorted when dry, 0.8-1.5 mm, lance-shaped; margins smooth, curved downwards (FNA 2014), flat or curved sharply downwards; apex subulate (awl-shaped); costa substantial, ending before or at the apex (Lawton 1971). Perichaetial leaves similar or a little bigger than the stem leaves (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Basal laminal cells elongate-rectangular; distal cells shorter than basal cells, rectangular to quadrate (FNA 2014).

Capsules ripen in summer (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
When fertile, Catoscopium nigritum is noticeable; look for inclined, glossy black capsules (that resemble a golf club) with a mouth that is small and points downward (FNA 2014).

Species Range

Range Comments
Greenland; Canada: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT; USA: AK, CA, IN, IA, MI, MN, MT, NY; Europe; Asia; Atlantic Islands (Iceland) (FNA 2014). In Montana: Flathead, Glacier, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, and Ravalli Counties (Elliott 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 7

(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)

Circumboreal species restricted to rich, calcareous fens (Elliott 2016).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous (FNA 2014). Seta black, thin, 0.8-2.4 cm. Capsule shiny black, tilting to horizontal with small mouth directed downward, rounded and ovoid, 0.6-1 mm; exostome with 16 short teeth (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:
Black Golf Club Moss — Catoscopium nigritum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from