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A Fountain Moss - Fontinalis hypnoides
Other Names:  Fontinalis duriaei

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous, to 30 cm in length (FNA 2014), typically a little glossy (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), somewhat yellow or pale green (FNA 2014) or green with yellow tones (Lawton 1971), not usually bright- or dirty-green (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), the bottom part turning brown but not usually dark (Flowers 1973). Stems irregularly branched, soft (FNA 2014), the lower part of the stem becoming somewhat bare (Flowers 1973); tips of the stems and branches not pointed or unclearly so (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981); central strand wanting; axillary hairs consisting of 6-10 cells, the first cell square and red (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Those of branches and stems alike, distant (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), soft, spreading about 45 degrees or more when dry, spreading to around 45 degrees when damp, in 3 vertical rows along the stem, strongly folded longitudinally, 3-7 mm in length, from lance-shaped and quite slender to egg-shaped, with an acute or nearly obtuse apex or sometimes with a wide acumen; base extending down the stem, flat or cupped; leaf edges flat or upright below, flat above (FNA 2014), smooth or nearly so (Lawton 1971); costa absent or scarcely developed (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Medical cells of the lamina long and slender, tapering at the ends, to long and narrowly diamond-shaped; alar cells oblong, swollen, the walls flaccid (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

Canada: YT and NT, BC to NB and NS; USA: known in most states except WA, NE, a few states in the Southeast, and a couple in the Northeast (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Deer Lodge, Flathead, Granite, Glacier, Hill, Lake, Lincoln, Meagher, and Missoula Counties (Elliott and Pipp 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 6

(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)

Affixed to stones, small branches, tree and shrub roots and submerged in running water (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), also on bottoms of trees, in lakes; occurring from lowlands to about 9190 feet elevation (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Perigonia bud-like, the bracts to 0.8 mm. Perichaetial bracts to 2 mm with the apex broadly-angled (FNA 2014) or rounded (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981). Seta short, 0.2-0.3 mm tall. Capsule 1.5-2.5 mm in length, hidden amongst the bracts to barely exposed, without stomata; operculum cone-shaped (FNA 2014); exostome teeth papillose (Lawton 1971), 16, slender and frequently joined at the distal ends in pairs, endostome forming a trellis, the segments joined by crosswise bars throughout (perfect). Calyptra cone-shaped and shielding the upper end of the capsule, hairless (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.
    • Flowers, S. 1973. Mosses: Utah and the West. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 567 p.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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 Fountain Moss — Fontinalis hypnoides.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from