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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Bigelow's Porotrichum Moss - Porotrichum bigelovii

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S1

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Plant: Small to large in mats and could appear somewhat dendroid. Glossy, dark green, and yellow-brown when old. Stems 2-5 cm long, irregularly branched. Stems often with small paraphyllia or pseudoparaphyllia.

Leaf: Leaves complanate. Leaves spreading, elongate-oblong, 3.0 x 0.8 mm long, and slightly asymmetric. Apex acute. Margins incurved on one side of the base, coarsely toothed near apex, and serrulate to the middle of leaf. Costa single, narrowing toward and ending before the apex.

Leaf Cells: Cells smooth and thin-walled except thicker-walled near the base. Basal leaf cells 40-60 x 6-8 µm, thicker-walled, and often colored. Median leaf cells 30-45 x 10 µm. Apical leaf cells mostly rhomboidal, 15-20 x 10-15 µm.

Capsules ripen March-August (FNA 2014).

Species Range

Range Comments
Canada: BC; USA: CA, ID, OR, WA (FNA 2014). In Montana, known from Glacier and Ravalli Counties (Elliott 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)

Shaded soil, rock, and tree bases (Elliott 2016), often near streams. Lowlands to about 3,300 feet elevation (Lawton 1971) in areas influenced by a Pacific maritime climate.

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Seta is 1-2 cm tall, often curved. Capsules radially symmetric, inclined, horizontal, or pendent, about 1.2 mm long, and shrunken under the mouth when dry.

  • 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
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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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Bigelow's Porotrichum Moss — Porotrichum bigelovii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from