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A Cinclidium Moss - Cinclidium stygium

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S1

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous (Vitt 1988). Brown with reddish tones, or black, with green ends. Stems mostly simple (Lawton 1971), 3-8(-13) cm, upright (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Brown or green, with reddish hues, becoming black with age, spreading when wet, contorted when dry, largely plane, widely elliptic or obovate, seldom circular, (2.5-)3.5-4.5(-6) mm; leaf base usually extending a short distance along stem or, infrequently, not at all; margins usually slightly revolute, seldom plane, 1-layered; apex usually broad or rounded, sometimes acute or forming a sharp apiculus or toothed cusp; the strong costa ranging from excurrent to seldom subpercurrent (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Median laminal cells long with pitted walls (FNA 2014), larger near costa than near the margin (Lawton 1971), forming slanted rows; marginal cells differentiated, linear or narrowly- and short-rectangular, consisting of (2-)3-4 rows (FNA 2014), one-layered (Lawton 1971).

Capsules ripen in summer (FNA 2014).

Species Range

Range Comments
Greenland; Canada: AB, BC, MB, NL, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT; USA: AK, ME, MI, MN, MT, NY, WY; South America; Europe; Asia (FNA 2014). In Montana: Teton County (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)

Restricted to rich, calcareous fens and seeps (Elliott 2016). In rich fens, look for the rare Cinclidium stygium when Catoscopium nigritum or Calliergon trifarium are present. It may be found in calcareous seeps of the alpine with Paludella squarrosa (Vitt 1988).

Reproductive Characteristics
Synoicous (FNA 2014). Seta 4-7 mm, flexuose, yellowish. Capsule yellow, 2-3 mm, broadly elliptic (FNA 2014), nodding and smooth cylindric (Vitt 1988); peristome teeth yellow with hues of green; upper parts of the endostome joined to form a dome (Lawton 1971).

  • 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.
    • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Cinclidium Moss — Cinclidium stygium.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from