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A Pterigynandrum Moss - Pterigynandrum filiforme

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

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General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous (Vitt 1988), growing in slender, wide-spreading mats (Lawton 1971), green, green with yellow tones (FNA 2014), deep green or brownish, not shiny. Stems often curved and almost thread-like (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), prostrate (Lawton 1971), braid-like in appearance, forking freely, sometimes with several paraphyllia (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Stem leaves upright and overlapping, curved sickle-like and sometimes all pointing in one direction, 0.6-1 mm in length (FNA 2014), 0.3-0.5 mm in width (Lawton 1971), cupped, sometimes widest about mid-leaf, oblong (FNA 2014) or obovate (Lawton 1971), the tip obtuse or more narrowly-angled (FNA 2014), sometimes acuminate; leaf edges curved back and downward below (Lawton 1971), finely saw-toothed distally; costa paired (FNA 2014), sometimes wanting (Lawton 1971), rarely reaching or surpassing 1/4 of the leaf length. Branch leaves smaller but otherwise similar to the stem leaves (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981).

Leaf Cells: Laminal cells somewhat oblong or diamond-shaped (FNA 2014), and a little bent or wavy (Crum & Anderson et al. 1981), the ends overlapping with their tips protruding dorsally (FNA 2014); alar cells nearly square (Crum & Anderson et al. 1981), somewhat differentiated from adjacent cells (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

Canada: YT and NT, BC and AB, ON to NL and NS; USA: AK, WA to CA, ID, MT to CO, SD, MN, WI, MI, NY ne to ME, PA, WV, VA, TN and NC (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Carbon, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Granite, Lake, Lincoln, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Ravalli, Sanders, and Sweet Grass Counties (Elliott and Pipp 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 23

(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)

Acidic stones, damp (FNA 2014) or dry, protected stone shelves and bluffs, bark at tree bottoms (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981). Lowlands to highlands (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous (FNA 2014). Seta ochre to somewhat orange (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981), 5-15 mm tall (FNA 2014). Capsule brown, sometimes creased when dry (Lawton 1971), upright, 1-2.5 mm in length (FNA 2014); operculum beak oblique (Lawton 1971); exostome teeth lance-shaped, 16 (FNA 2014), with papillae or fine lines (Lawton 1971); endostome processes 16 (FNA 2014).

Vegetative reproduction with several-celled, ochre-colored propagula produced on the stems (Lawton 1971) and common at leaf junctures (Crum and Anderson et al. 1981).

  • 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.
    • Vitt, D. J. Marsh, and R. Bovey. 1988. Mosses, Lichens & Ferns of Northwest North America. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 296 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • 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:
A Pterigynandrum Moss — Pterigynandrum filiforme.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from