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A Pseudoleskea Moss - Pseudoleskea atricha
Other Names:  Lescuraea atricha

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

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General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous, growing in deep, rigid mats, green with yellow, reddish, or black tones, becoming brown over time. Stems sizeable, catkin-like with the tips hooked upward, freely branched (FNA 2014), sometimes reaching 5 cm (Lawton 1971), possessing a central strand; paraphyllia numerous (FNA 2014), especially on stems, occasionally scarce on branches (Lawton 1971); rhizoids borne in groups on leaves near the leaf attachment (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Lying next to the stem and overlapping when dry, spreading to about 45 degrees when damp, 0.5-1.2 mm in length (FNA 2014), pleated (Lawton 1971), egg-shaped, seldom curved sickle-like, tapering slowly to a narrowly-angled apex or seldom to a short acumen, without a hair-point; leaf edges curved back and downward below, smooth to finely saw-toothed above; costa reaching the leaf tip, faintly wavy. Branch and stem leaves comparable (FNA 2014), or branch leaves a bit smaller (Lawton 1971).

Leaf Cells: Lower laminal cells generally shorter but otherwise resembling medial cells; medial cells somewhat long and diamond-shaped, with thick and very porose walls, the overlapping cell ends protruding; alar cells somewhat long, square, or short and oblong, the longer dimension crosswise to the length of the leaf (FNA 2014).

Fruit ripens in mid-summer (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

Local and endemic to North America. Found in BC, AK and WA (FNA 2014). Also known in Montana from Lake County (Elliott and Pipp 2016).

Mineral soil and stony crags in subalpine and higher habitats, reaching around 7550 feet (FNA 2014)

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous (FNA 2014) with female and male plants akin. Seta about 10 mm tall (Lawton 1971). Capsule nearly upright (FNA 2014) to level (Lawton 1971), 0.5-1.2 mm in length (FNA 2014); exostome teeth ochre (Lawton 1971), taller than the endostome processes (FNA 2014) or nearly as tall (Lawton 1971); cilia present, sometimes scarcely developed (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.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Pseudoleskea Moss — Pseudoleskea atricha.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from