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A Dicranoweisia Moss - Dicranoweisia crispula

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous (Vitt 1988). Growing in crowded clumps of upright shoots, pale to deep green, not shiny. Stems 1-6 cm tall, branched; central strand present; rhizoids only at bottom of stem and anchoring the plant (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Wavy and curly when dry (FNA 2007), spreading ca 45 degrees when moist (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981), often flat, lance-shaped (FNA 2007), tapering slowly and forming a long, thin acumen, cupped at the base (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981), 1.5-4 mm in length; smooth or finely saw-toothed distally (Lawton 1971); costa nearly reaching the apex (FNA 2007).

Leaf Cells: Lamina 2 cell-layers thick above mid-leaf, the cells striolate in the upper half (FNA 2007), the fine ridges resembling papillae in X-section; lower cells longer (Lawton 1971); alar cells often tinted and a little larger at the margins (FNA 2007); costa in X-section with a small adaxial stereid band, a larger abaxial stereid band, and guide cells (Lawton 1971).

Fruit ripens in spring through the first part of summer (FNA 2007).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The striolation and alar cell distinctions of North American plants are frequently faint. Reproductive organs are also frequently missing despite the autoicous condition of the species (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
North American Range

Canada: YT, BC and AB, MB to NL and NS; USA: AK, to the western coastal states from MT s to NM, also SD, MI, TN, NC, NH and ME (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Carbon, Cascade, Deer Lodge, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Madison, Missoula, Park, Powell, Ravalli, and Sanders Counties (Elliott & Pipp, 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 12

(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)

Acidic rock in coniferous forests (Elliott & Pipp, 2016), occasionally epiphytic or growing on wood. Elevation: 30-6560 feet (FNA 2007).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous (FNA 2007). Sporophytes typically present (Vitt 1988). Perigonial buds occurring closely beneath the perichaetium or else at the apex of a branch without perichaetia (Crum & Anderson et al., 1981); perigonial bracts suddenly constricting to a subula. Seta single (FNA 2007), 4-15 mm tall (Lawton 1971). Capsule pale to deep brown when ripe, 0.5-2 mm in length, smooth or furrowed lengthwise when dry; peristome with 16 russet teeth, the tips transparent, sometimes split above, with fine longitudinal ridges below and a few papillae above (FNA 2007).

No specialized vegetative reproduction (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.
    • 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
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    • Aho, Ken Andrew. 2006. Alpine and Cliff Ecosystems in the North-Central Rocky Mountains. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 343 p.
    • Flowers, S. 1973. Mosses: Utah and the West. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 567 p.
    • 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.
    • Smith, A.J.E. 1980. The Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 705 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Dicranoweisia Moss — Dicranoweisia crispula.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from