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A Fountain Moss - Dichelyma uncinatum

Native Species

Global Rank: G3G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous. Green, sometimes tinged with gold above, brown below (Lawton 1971), shiny. Stems creeping, to 12 cm in length; central strand wanting; axillary hairs with lowest cell brownish and square, and 3-4 longer, hyaline upper cells; rhizoids growing from the back of leaf attachments (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Somewhat obscurely arranged in 3 vertical rows, strongly keeled, curved sickle-like to coiled, particularly at the distal ends of the stems and branches, lance-shaped and very thin, narrowing to a long, thread-like and acuminate leaf tip, the leaf length 4-5 mm, the width of centrally-placed stem leaves 0.4-0.8 mm; margins smooth and flat; costa extending well beyond the apex (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Medial laminal cells very thin; alar cells square or quadrangular, only slightly larger than adjacent cells, if at all (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The leaves may lie folded in half on a microscope slide, showing only half their width (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

AK, BC s to CA, ID, inland to MT and WY, ON (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Flathead, Glacier, Lake, and Sanders Counties (Elliott 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 3

(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)

Tree bark on branches and trunks (alder, cottonwood, maple, oak), roots, edges of ponds, swamps, lacustrine deposition areas, seldom on stone; frequently inundated, semi-aquatic. Elevation: 0-3610 feet (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Perichaetial bracts to 6 mm in length. Perigonia bud-like. Seta 5-11 mm tall (Crum & Anderson et al. 1981), sheathed by the perichaetial bracts; capsule 1-3 mm in length, carried just beyond to partially hidden in the perichaetial leaves; operculum cone-shaped, 1-1.5 mm in length; peristome double; exostome teeth 16, sharply papillate; endostome ochre to somewhat reddish, the divisions unified by crosswise bars throughout (forming a perfect cone-shaped trellis) and longer than the exostome teeth. Calyptra 3-5 mm in length, concealing the capsule and frequently gripping the seta when young (FNA 2014).

  • 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. 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
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    • 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, B., N. Malcolm, J. Shevock, and D. Norris. 2009. California Mosses. Nelson, New Zealand: Micro-Optics Press. 430 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Fountain Moss — Dichelyma uncinatum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from