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A Leskeella Moss - Leskeella nervosa

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous (Vitt 1988), growing in mats, deep green to nearly black. Stems hugging the growing surface, upright and freely branching, the older stems sometimes becoming stoloniform; rhizoids borne in groups on leaves near the leaf attachment; paraphyllia lacking (FNA 2014).

Stem Leaves: Loosely upright to flat against the stem when dry, spreading a little when damp, pleated faintly on both sides of the leaf or not, 0.6-1.2 mm in length, lance-shaped, narrowing suddenly or slowly to a subula or acumen that is longer than the rest of the blade, without a hair-point; leaf edges smooth or faintly and finely saw-toothed above, curved back and down below; costa reaching the leaf tip or just shy of it, fully occupying the subula or acumen (FNA 2014).

Branch Leaves: Differing from stem leaves only a little, smaller, sometimes reaching 0.8 mm in length, and lance-shaped with ovate tendencies, narrowing to a subula or narrowly-angled leaf tip; costa not as strong as in the stem leaf (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Lower cells with walls sometimes faintly porose; medial cells with length and width nearly equal or to 2:1 (mostly isodiametric in branch leaves), a little shorter than the apical cells, with walls of medium thickness, nonpapillose; alar cells scarcely distinct from adjacent cells (FNA 2014).

Fruit ripens from mid-summer through early autumn (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

Canada: BC and AB, MB to NL and NS; USA: ID and MT s to NM and AZ (except WY), MN to NY and ne to ME, also NC (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Fergus, Flathead, Glacier, Hill, and Lincoln Counties (Elliott and Pipp 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 4

(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)

Protected, dry to damp bark, calcareous stones, and woody debris or wooden fences. Occurring from lowlands to 11,480 feet (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Perigonia occurring on the main stem. Seta 10-12 mm tall. Capsule upright or tilted, 2-3 mm in length, borne far beyond the perichaetial bracts, ochre or more brown, bowed (FNA 2014) to straight (Lawton 1971); exostome teeth very finely-ridged below; cilia rudimentary when present (FNA 2014).

Vegetative reproduction occurring at leaf junctures of secondary branches where groups of long, tapering and flexible branchlets are borne (FNA 2014), almost always present (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981).

  • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Leskeella Moss — Leskeella nervosa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from