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Yellow Awn Candle Snuffer Moss - Encalypta rhaptocarpa
Other Names:  Yellow Awn Extinguisher Moss

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous. Dull-green or sometimes more yellow or brown above, brown below. Gregarious (growing close together in tufts) (Crum 1981). Stems 10-30 mm, lacking central strand (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Oblong-lanceolate, 2.5-3.5 mm. Apex acute, hair-pointed. Margins plane, entire. Costa extending to or beyond the apex, sometimes disappearing into the awn. Awn smooth and hyaline (FNA 2007).

Leaf Cells: Laminal cells quadrate to sub-hexagonal. Distal laminal cells nearly quadrate, with several papillae on one or both exposed surfaces. Papillae branched or C-shaped. Marginal cells may be longer proximally, forming weak border. Basal cells rectangular, smooth, with thin walls. Basal marginal cells similar to interior basal cells (FNA 2007).

Diagnostic Characteristics
E. alpina is similar to E. rhaptocarpa. The leaf shape differs, however, and E. rhaptocarpa has a much longer costa and possesses a peristome. E. alpina lacks a peristome (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
Greenland; Canada: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT; USA: AK, AZ, CA, CO, ID, MI, MT, NE, OR, SD, WA, WY; Mexico (Nuevo León and Zacatecas); Europe; c. e Asia (China, Japan, Kazakstan, Mongolia) (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Carbon, Cascade, Fergus, Flathead, Glacier, Granite, Judith Basin, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Madison, Missoula, Park, Ravalli, Sweet Grass, and Teton Counties (Elliott 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 13

(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)

Soil or soil over rock on exposed or in somewhat sheltered nooks (FNA 2007).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous. Seta 8-10 mm, reddish-brown, ribbed. Capsule 2.5-3 mm, reddish-brown, cylindric, with erect rostrum (beak). Short projections/small plates (preperistome ring) sometimes occur outside the peristome. Calyptra 3-4 mm with papillose rostrum (beak).

  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Lawton, E. 1971. Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Hattori Botanical Laboratory. Japan: Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. 362 pages plus appendices.
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Citation for data on this website:
Yellow Awn Candle Snuffer Moss — Encalypta rhaptocarpa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from