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Montana Field Guides

A Cynodontium Moss - Cynodontium strumiferum

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Growing in clumps of upright shoots, green or brown (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981). Stems upright, to 25 mm in height (FNA 2007), possessing a central strand, frequently with many woolly-matted rhizoids below (Lawton 1971), the rhizoids frequently transparent terminally and reddish close to the stem; hyalodermis wanting (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Curled and twisted when dry (FNA 2007), spreading and somewhat curved to one side when wet (Smith 1980), 2-5 mm in length, lance-shaped with linear tendencies, narrowing to a slender tip); margins curved back and down widely from the base to mid-leaf (FNA 2007) and occasionally almost to the leaf tip, finely saw-toothed apically (Lawton 1971); costa almost reaching the apex, frequently a little coarse distally on the dorsal surface (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981).

Leaf Cells: Upper leaf cells nearly square, frequently wider than long (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), dotted with mammillae and papillae, although cells at the leaf edges smooth; basal cells oblong, about 3:1 or longer; alar cells not distinct (FNA 2007); margins of 2 cell layers distally (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981); costa in X-section with ventral stereid band faint, 1 row of guide cells and a well-developed dorsal stereid band present, the dorsal epidermis scarcely distinct from the dorsal stereids or wanting (FNA 2007).

Fruit ripens in summer (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
North American Range

AK to NU, BC to NL and NS, MT, CO, MN to MI, also NY, NH, and ME (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Cascade, Flathead, Lake, and Lincoln Counties (Elliott and Pipp 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)

Non-basic stones and soil overlying stones in shaded areas (FNA 2007) such as in rock fissures (Lawton 1971) and on bluffs (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981). Occurring at middle to upper elevations (FNA 2007).

Reproductive Characteristics
Perigonia stalkless. Seta straight, 6-13 mm tall. Capsule bowed, upright or inclined, deeply grooved when dry (FNA 2007), with noticeable swellings at the base (Smith 1980); peristome teeth 16, russet, longitudinally lined below, with lightly-colored, papillose apices (FNA 2007), split about half the way down (Lawton 1971). Calyptra draping in hood-like fashion (FNA 2007).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Crum, H.A. and L.E. Anderson. 1981. Mosses of Eastern North America. 2 volumes. Columbia University Press, New York. 1328 pp.
    • 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. 2007. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 27. Bryophytes: Mosses, Part 1. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. xxi + 713 pp.
    • Lawton, E. 1971. Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Hattori Botanical Laboratory. Japan: Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. 362 pages plus appendices.
    • Smith, A.J.E. 1980. The Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 705 pp.
  • 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 Cynodontium Moss — Cynodontium strumiferum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from