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Rusty Cord Moss - Entosthodon rubiginosus
Other Names:  Entosthodon Moss

Potential Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G1G3
State Rank: SH

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous, growing as erect stems or in small tufts (McIntosh 2004). Stems 2-3 (Lawton 1971) or up to 5 mm in height (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Fully developed leaves congested at top of stem, erect-spreading when wet (McIntosh 2004), somewhat contorted when dry, widely ovate (FNA 2007) to slightly obovate, 1.5-2.4 mm in length, 0.8-1 mm in width (Lawton 1971); margins smooth or practically so (FNA 2007), flat and not bordered (Lawton 1971); apex acute or nearly so, the tip subulate (FNA 2007) or acuminate (McIntosh 2004); costa substantial, terminating prior to the apex in lower leaves, excurrent in the upper leaves (Lawton 1971).

Leaf Cells: The laminal cells have thin walls (Lawton 1971), are rectangular at the base (FNA 2007), and unevenly hexagonal, oblong-rectangular (FNA 2007) or rhomboidal distally (McIntosh 2004); generally, the marginal cells are slightly shorter, but not enough to form a distinct limbidium (Lawton 1971).

Capsules ripen late winter into spring (McIntosh 2004).

Species Range

Range Comments
Western North American endemic (McIntosh 1989). Canada: BC; USA: MT, NM, TX (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Cascade County (Elliott 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)

Dry soil (Elliott 2016), sandy or silty soil along river banks, ravines (FNA 2007), seasonally wet alkaline areas with exposed soil (McIntosh 2004).

Reproductive Characteristics
Seta 3-7 mm in length (Lawton 1971). Capsules upright, straight (Lawton 197), brown with red tones, pear-shaped with a narrow neck about half the length of the sporangium (FNA 2007), the theca 1.4-1.8 mm in length (Lawton 1971); constricted a little below the mouth and furrowed when dry (McIntosh 2004).

Because capsules are produced every year by most plants, the species is thought to be autoicous (McIntosh 2004).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • COSEWIC 2004. COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Rusty Cord-Moss Entosthodon rubiginosus in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. VI + 18 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.
    • McIntosh, T.T. 1989. Bryophyte Records from the Semiarid Steppe of Northwestern North America, Including Four Species New to North America. The Bryologist 92(3):356-362.
  • 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:
Rusty Cord Moss — Entosthodon rubiginosus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from