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Montana Field Guides

Obtuse-leaf Pohlia Moss - Pohlia obtusifolia
Other Names:  Blunt-leaved Thread Moss

Status Under Review
Native Species

Global Rank: G2G4
State Rank: SU

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Plants: Acrocarpous (FNA 2014), growing in clumps of upright shoots (Lawton 1971), light green (FNA 2014) or green with yellow tones, brown proximally (Lawton 1971), not shiny. Stems 3-8 mm tall (FNA 2014), reddish distally, seldom forked; rhizoids scarce (Lawton 1971).

Leaves: Overlapping, or a little curved and twisted when dry, upright to spreading about 45 degrees or more when damp (FNA 2014), cupped, the lower leaves wider and egg-shaped, the upper leaves becoming longer and lance-shaped with ovate tendencies, narrowing to an obtuse or sometimes more narrowly-angled leaf tip (Lawton 1971), the tips of sterile plants faintly cucullate; leaf edges flat (FNA 2014) or occasionally slightly curved back and downward in part (Lawton 1971), in the apical region the leaf edges saw-toothed or finely so; costa ending near the leaf tip (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Upper medial laminal cells wide and diamond-shaped to 6-sided, fine-walled (FNA 2014); apical cells short (Lawton 1971).

Fruit ripens in summer (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The similar Pohlia drummondii also has keeled leaves, but the leaves are not cucullate, the laminal cells are narrower, and the plants are dioicous rather than monoicous and sometimes bear axillary gemmae (FNA 2014).

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
North American Range

Canada: YT and NU, BC and AB, ON to NL; USA: AK, WA, CA, NV and AZ, MT to CO, TX, ME (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Glacier County (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)

Moist soil in subalpine and higher places with lingering snow (FNA 2014) and along watercourses (Lawton 1971).

Reproductive Characteristics
Monoicous (FNA 2014), with antheridia in twos in the axils of upper leaves (Lawton 1971), near the archegonia but not mingling. Perichaetial bracts widely lance-shaped, similar to the stem leaves (FNA 2014). Seta 10-30 mm tall (Lawton 1971), solitary, brown and tinged with orange. Capsule carried well-beyond the perichaetial bracts, straw-colored to brown with orange tones, drooping vertically or nearly so; neck distinct (FNA 2014), not as long as the remainder of the capsule, theca counting the neck 2-3 mm in length (Lawton 1971); stomata occurring on the capsuleā€™s surface (FNA 2014)); exostome teeth brown, ochre or yellow, pitted below (FNA 2014), papillose; endostome processes pale yellow (Lawton 1971) to transparent, slightly keeled with wide openings on the keel; cilia not present (FNA 2014).

  • 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. 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
    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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Obtuse-leaf Pohlia Moss — Pohlia obtusifolia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from