Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

A Oligotrichum Moss - Oligotrichum hercynicum

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous, growing in upright clumps with shoots laxly-spaced or somewhat closer to each other, brilliant green with a whitish bloom, eventually turning russet. Stems 10-30 mm in height, unbranched or seldom branching from just beneath terminal reproductive organs (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Curving up and inward but not quite tubulose when dry, spreading more or less when damp but still curving up and inward and maintaining a pronounced groove above, 2.5-5 mm in length, lance-shaped, the base slightly enveloping the stem; margins unbordered, smooth or minutely saw-toothed above; costa extending to the apex or shortly beyond to form a mucro (FNA 2007).

Leaf Cells: Dorsal lamellae few and short, arising from the outer surfaces of both the costa and the far distal lamina (Lawton 1971); ventral lamellae 8-20, all arising from the costa, with a height of 6-13 cells (FNA 2007), the margin (along the top of the lamellae) appearing finely scalloped (Lawton 1971); laminae wide, 1 cell-layer thick; medial laminal cells with thick walls, nearly square with the angles curved, a little smaller nearer the leaf edges; teeth of the margin spaced well apart, each consisting of 1 cell (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
Canada: YT, BC and AB, NL and NS; USA: AK, WA and OR, MT (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Flathead County (Elliott & Pipp, 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1

(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)

Moist soil (Elliott & Pipp, 2016) along streams or lake beaches, areas of lingering snow, sometimes underwater from fast-running snowmelt, disrupted habitats (FNA 2007); ranging from montane to alpine elevations, reaching over 6560 feet (Lawton 1971).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Perichaetial bracts slender and lance-shaped, longer than the foliage leaves. Seta usually single, light brown, 20-40 mm in height, smooth. Capsule 2-4 mm long, (FNA 2007); theca 2-2.6 mm in length (Lawton 1971); peristome double, with 32 teeth (FNA 2007), lacking papillae (Lawton 1971). Calyptra with few hairs (FNA 2007).

  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
    • Vitt, D. J. Marsh, and R. Bovey. 1988. Mosses, Lichens & Ferns of Northwest North America. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 296 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "A Oligotrichum Moss"
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
A Oligotrichum Moss — Oligotrichum hercynicum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from