Hedwig's Fringeleaf Moss - Hedwigia ciliata
Hedwig's White Tip Moss
MNPS Threat Rank
Plants: Pleurocarpous (Vitt 1988), growing in broad, uncrowded grey-green mats (Lawton 1971), the stems more or less prostrate toward the base with the distal part ascending (Smith 1978), to 10 cm in length (Lawton 1971).
Leaves: Overlapping and flat to the stem with apices spreading when dry (Lawton 1971), giving them a bristly appearance (Smith 1978), the whole leaves spreading when wet, concave, 1.5-3 mm in length, 0.6-1.2 mm in width, ovate or narrowly so, tapering to a long narrow or short acumen (Lawton 1971), occasionally falcate-secund (Smith 1978); ecostate (Vitt 1988); margins extending below the stem, widely recurved along the basal 1/3 of leaf, the acumen sometimes incurved, the apex with very broad marginal teeth that are smooth to erratically papillose; apex hyaline-white; acumen 1/5-1/10 the length of the leaf, with a groove varying in width and depth (FNA 2007).
Leaf Cells: Basal laminal cells long, 3-5:1, without papillae, yellow; alar cells square to rectangular; medial cells short or somewhat elongate with thick walls (Lawton 1971), with (1-)2(-4) low to sessile, simple to variously-branched papillae; laminal cells in the hyaline area with low, simple papillae (FNA 2007).
Capsules ripen spring-late spring (FNA 2007).
The large, spreading, grey-green mats covering dry acidic rocks are distinctive in the field. In addition, the lower 2/3 of the leaves are green, with the upper 1/3 hyaline-white. When wetted, the leaves can alter from appressed to spreading at 90 degrees within a few minutes (Vitt 1988).
Racomitrium lanuginosum and R. canescens outwardly look like this species, but both are strongly keeled with their single costa. Hedwigia ciliata is ecostate (Vitt 1988).
Greenland; Canada: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NS, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT; USA: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America; Eurasia; Africa; Atlantic Islands; Pacific Islands; Australia (FNA 2007). In Montana, known from Flathead, Granite, Lake, and Missoula Counties (Elliott 2016).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Acidic rock, limestone, soil, sunlit rocks, cliffs, tree branches, asphalt shingles and road boundaries. Elevation: From 0 (FNA 2007) to 8268 feet (Kosovich-Anderson 2015).
Autoicous (Lawton 1971). Perichaetial bracts fringed with long ciliate hairs on the awns and upper leaf margins. Sheath surrounding base of the seta covered with hairs. Seta reddish-brown, sturdy, obscured in the perichaetial bracts (FNA 2007). Capsules sub-globose, ca 1 mm in length, lacking a peristome, also hidden in bracts (Lawton 1971).
- 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. 2014. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 28. Bryophytes: Mosses, Part 2. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. xxi + 702 pp.
- Kosovich-Anderson, Y. I. 2015. Mosses of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, U.S.A.: New Altitudinal Records for North America. Arctoa 24:141-147.
- 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
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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.