Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Drummond's Nodding Moss - Pohlia drummondii
Other Names:  A Nodding Moss

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: SU

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous (FNA 2014), growing in clumps of upright shoots, green with yellow tones (Lawton 1971), deep green or reddish, shiny. Stems 5-35 mm tall (FNA 2014), the sterile stems taller than the fertile ones, russet to nearly black below, forking occasionally from innovations below the perichaetia; rhizoids several to numerous (Lawton 1971).

Leaves: Overlapping (Lawton 1971), spreading over 45 degrees when damp (FNA 2014), occasionally curved up and inward (Lawton 1971) or slightly spiraling around the stem when dry, longer toward the stem apex (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), keeled, lance-shaped and sometimes with ovate tendencies, narrowing to the acute (FNA 2014) or acuminate leaf tip, in lower leaves the leaf tip sometimes obtuse (Lawton 1971); leaf edges flat (FNA 2014) or slightly curved back and downward in the upper stem leaves (Lawton 1971), in the apical region the leaf edges saw-toothed or finely so; costa ending near the leaf tip (FNA 2014), red proximally (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981).

Leaf Cells: Upper medial laminal cells diamond-shaped with fine walls (FNA 2014).

Fruit ripens in summer (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The similar Pohlia obtusifolia has subtly cucullate leaves, wider laminal cells, and the plants are monoicous (rather than dioicous), never bearing axillary gemmae (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

Disjunct Circumboreal. In North America, from Alaska southward in the Cascade and Rocky Mountains to California, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah, where it is confined to the high mountains (Shaw 1982). AK to NU, BC and AB s to CA, AZ and NM, also ON to NL, MN, NH and VT (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Carbon, Custer, Flathead, Glacier, and Meagher Counties (Elliott and Pipp 2016).

Noncalcareous soil somewhat rich in organic matter, embankments along trails and watercourses. Occurring from low to high altitudes (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Perichaetial bracts similar to the stem leaves (FNA 2014). Seta 10-20 mm tall or more (Lawton 1971), solitary, brown tinged with orange. Capsule carried well-beyond the perichaetial bracts, brown to straw-colored, inclined slightly below level to drooping vertically; neck distinct (FNA 2014), typically not as long as the remainder of the capsule (Lawton 1971); stomata occurring on the capsuleā€™s surface (FNA 2014) in the neck region (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981); exostome teeth slender and deltoid, pitted below (FNA 2014), finely and thickly papillose above (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981); endostome processes transparent, keeled, with wide openings; cilia scarcely developed or short (FNA 2014).

Specialized vegetative reproduction typically occurring in infertile plants by gemmae; gemmae developing in leaf axils (FNA 2014), particularly near the stem apex (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), bright red, drying nearly to black, usually solitary but sometimes in twos, resembling a flower bulb or short branches, with leaf primordia developing both at the top of the gemma and proximally (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.
    • Shaw, J. 1982. Pohlia Hedw. (Musci) in North and Central America and the West Indies. Contributions from the University of Michigan Herbarium, 15: 219-295.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Flowers, S. 1973. Mosses: Utah and the West. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 567 p.
    • 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.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Drummond's Nodding Moss"
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Drummond's Nodding Moss — Pohlia drummondii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from