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Stump Wing Moss - Herzogiella turfacea
Other Names:  A Herzogiella Moss

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SU
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Distribution data in BIOTICS had Distribution Confidence as "Reported but unconfirmed" with no explanatory notes. FNA 2014 does show this species in Montana.
General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous, growing in slender (FNA 2014), open mats, bright (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981) or pale green, sometimes with yellow tones (FNA 2014), shiny (Lawton 1971). Stems prostrate, sometimes reaching 3 cm in length and to 2.5 mm in width (FNA 2014), with spreading branches (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981); central strand obscure if present; hyalodermis sometimes obscure; rhizoids few, papillose; pseudoparaphyllia lacking (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Twisted to appear arranged in two rows opposite each other along the stem and branches, occasionally spreading just a little to often widely or 90 degrees (FNA 2014) and frequently curving toward one side near the stem and branch ends (Lawton 1971), 1-2 mm in length, to 0.7 mm in width, cupped, not or only slightly pleated, egg- to lance-shaped (FNA 2014), tending toward ovate or oblong (Lawton 1971), slowly tapering to a long acumen, the acumen a little bent or twisted (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981); base not extending down the stem or only faintly so (by 1-3 small cells); leaf edges flat, saw-toothed, sometimes finely so (FNA 2014), occasionally smooth below (Lawton 1971); costa mostly short and paired, seldom absent; branch and stem leaves akin (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Laminal cells somewhat long and thin, a little bent (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), tapering at both ends, smooth; basal laminal cells usually porose, obscurely so above or occasionally pits not present; alar cells square or short and oblong along the leaf edges, occasionally more rounded and swollen, sometimes 1 cell swollen and rounded at the very far basal angle, green (FNA 2014).

Fruit ripens in summer (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The similar northwestern species, Herzogiella seligeri, has leaves arranged in several longitudinal rows along the stem and spreading widely; the twisting leaves of Herzogiella turfacea, a mostly eastern species, appear to be arranged in two opposite rows and range from nearly upright to squarrose (FNA 2014; Lawton 1971).

Range Comments
North American Range

Canada: AB to NB and NL; USA: MT, SD, MN, WI and IL e and ne to the coastal states from NJ to ME, also VA, NC and SC (FNA 2014).

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)

Soil, decayed organic matter, humus overlying stone, logs (sometimes well-decayed), boggy or swampy areas, in open to crowded evergreen forests (Lawton 1971). Occurring from lowlands to about 1640 feet (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous, with perichaetia and perigonia near the stem bottoms (FNA 2014), the bract tips bent or spreading (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981). Seta 12-20 mm tall, pale brown or somewhat red, frequently spiraled. Capsule 0.8-2 mm in length, pale brown, tilted (FNA 2014) to level (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), a little bowed, shrunken below the opening when dry (FNA 2014), finely-ridged (Lawton 1971); operculum cone-shaped, sometimes with a short, abrupt point; exostome teeth 16, with a network of fine ridges below and papillae above; endostome processes 16, papillose, slender and keeled. Calyptra hairless, smooth, and draping hood-like (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.
    • 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
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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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Stump Wing Moss — Herzogiella turfacea.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from