A Windblown Moss - Paraleucobryum enerve
Plants: Acrocarpous (Vitt 1988), in closely-packed tufts, shiny, light green on top, brown below (Lawton 1971). Several rhizoids may be present at base (Flowers 1973). Stems 1-5(-10) cm (FNA 2007).
Leaves: The leaves are upright-spreading to slightly curved, narrowly lance-shaped and long-tapering to a finely acute point (forming a subula), 2-8 mm in length, 0.5-1 mm in width; margins smooth or, in upper leaf, with several small teeth facing the tip (FNA 2007). The margins are inrolled in the upper leaf to almost form a tube. The costa is smooth on the outer leaf surface (Flowers 1973), and 1-layered where it occupies about 9/10 of the leaf base, 3-6 cells across; it becomes broader and deeper at midleaf, covering the entire distal half of the leaf (FNA 2007).
Leaf Cells: Alar cells are 1-layered, brown, swollen, and reach the costa (FNA 2007); laminal cells are porose proximally and smooth; median laminal cells are nearly square to rectangular, elongated closer to the leaf base; the costa in X-section shows 3 cell layers consisting of 1 layer of green cells intermingled with colorless cells sandwiched between hyalocysts abaxially and adaxially; stereids not present (FNA 2007).
Capsules ripen in summer (FNA 2007).
The specific name implies that the costa is absent. Although it outwardly looks like the leaves lack a costa (Flowers 1973), it actually covers the entire subula (FNA 2007).
Paraleucobryum longifolium, a species closely related to P. enerve, differs with its serrulate apex and the longitudinal ridges on the abaxial surface of its costa. P. enerve occasionally has a few serrulate teeth near the leaf apex, and the abaxial surface of its costa is smooth (FNA 2007).
North America: AK, YT and NT, extending s through BC and AB, MT, WY, and continuing s to AZ, NM, and Mexico; Greenland; Europe; Asia (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Flathead, Glacier, and Stillwater Counties (Elliott 2016).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Exposed noncalcareous cliffs, occasionally in fens and bogs (FNA 2007), soil and rock in alpine areas (Elliott 2016). Elevation: 500-14,100 feet (FNA 2007).
Dioicous (Lawton 1971). Seta 10-20 mm in length, single or seldom 2 per perichaetium, smooth, upright, straight to twisted, ochre-colored. Capsules are straight or curved a little (Flowers 1973), cylindric, grooved when dry, ochre; the urn is 2-3 mm in length; the operculum is 1-1.5 mm in length (FNA 2007) and long-beaked (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. 2007. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 27. Bryophytes: Mosses, Part 1. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. xxi + 713 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.
- Vitt, D.H., J.E. Marsh and R.B. Bovey. 1988. Mosses, Lichens and Ferns of Northwest North America. Lone Pine Publishing, Canada. 296 pp.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Elliot, J. C. 1993. Second checklist of Montana mosses. Unpublished report. U.S. Forest Service, Region 1. Missoula, MT. 45 pp.
- 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.