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Montana Field Guides

A Dicranoweisia Moss - Dicranoweisia cirrata

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: SU

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous (Vitt 1988). Growing in crowded clumps or larger patches of upright shoots, pale to deep green, not shiny (FNA 2007). Stems 10-20 mm tall (Lawton 1971), branched; central strand present; rhizoids only at the bottom of the stem and anchoring the plant (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Wavy and curving up and inward when dry (FNA 2007), spreading ca 45 degrees or more when moist (Smith 1980), lance-shaped (FNA 2007), narrowed to an acute or slightly wider-angled leaf tip, 2-3 mm in length (Lawton 1971); leaf edges flat to broadly curved up and inward, sometimes curving back and downward at mid-leaf; costa nearly reaching the apex (FNA 2007).

Leaf Cells: Lamina of 1 cell-layer apart from the bi-stratose marginal cells above mid-leaf (FNA 2007) and the rarely bi-stratose laminal cells near the apex (Lawton 1971), the cells smooth (FNA 2007), with thick cross walls similar in appearance to papillae (Lawton 1971); lower cells somewhat long; upper cells nearly square; alar cells not distinct from adjacent cells (FNA 2007); costa in X-section with a small abaxial stereid band and guide cells (Lawton 1971).

Fruit ripens autumn through winter (FNA 2007).

Species Range

Range Comments
North American Range

AK, BC s to CA and AZ, also ID and MT (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Cascade, Flathead, Missoula, Park, Sweet Grass, and Park Counties (Elliott & Pipp, 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)

Trees, fence posts, logs (Elliott & Pipp, 2016), seldom on stone (Lawton 1971) or in stone fissures. Elevation: 3-6230 feet (FNA 2007).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous. Perigonial bracts suddenly constricting to a subula. Seta single (FNA 2007), 5-10 mm tall (Lawton 1971). Capsule pale to deep brown when ripe, smooth or furrowed lengthwise when dry (FNA 2007); theca 1.2-1.8 mm in length (Lawton 1971); peristome with 16 russet teeth, the tips transparent, sometimes split above, smooth below, papillose above (FNA 2007).

Specialized vegetative reproduction occurring often by several-celled gemmae borne on the dorsal leaf face (FNA 2007) close to the base (Lawton 1971), the gemmae somewhat oblong to linear (FNA 2007).

  • 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. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 Dicranoweisia Moss — Dicranoweisia cirrata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from