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Montana Field Guides

Lamella Pterygoneurum Moss - Pterygoneurum lamellatum

Native Species

Global Rank: G3G5
State Rank: SU
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Distribution data in BIOTICS had Distribution Confidence as "Reported but unconfirmed" with no explanatory notes (Spribille report). FNA 2014 does not show this in Montana.
General Description
Plants: Friendly but not crowded, or sometimes growing thinly in large areas of densely-packed shoots (FNA 2007), the shoots frequently bulbiform, especially in uncrowded conditions, grayish-green to frequently a vivid green (Flowers 1973) above, pale brown from numerous rhizoids below. Stems partially covered in soil, 0.5-5 mm, possessing a central strand; axillary hairs present (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Stem leaves flat and overlapping when dry, spreading a little when wet, egg- to strap-shaped, 2-3.5 mm in length (including the awn), widely cupped ventrally; leaf edges flat below, smooth or finely toothed above, curved up and inward above, sometimes faintly so; leaf tip somewhat widely angled, sometimes rounded, often cowl-like; costa occasionally missing, otherwise extending well beyond the leaf tip to form a smooth awn, with lamellae running longitudinally from the ventral costal surface (differentiated from the superficial ventral cells); lamellae usually 3-4, seldom none; awn hyaline, 1.5-2 mm in length (FNA 2007).

Leaf Cells: Lower laminal cells distinct across the bottom of the leaf, quadrangular, mostly 2-5:1; distal laminal cells square or quadrangular, elongated (FNA 2007) either longitudinally or transversely (Flowers 1973), occasionally a little papillose on the dorsal surface, arranged in 1 cell-layer, costa in X-section with 2 guide cells in 1 series, a hydroid strand, a small dorsal stereid band, and a dorsal superficial layer of cells (ventral superficial cells and stereid band absent); lamellae 0-14 (typically at least 8) cells tall (FNA 2007), taller near the apex (Flowers 1973); cells of the lamellae chlorophyllous, freely knobbed and erratic in shape and dimension, filaments extending from some of them (FNA 2007).

Fruit ripens the last part of winter into spring (FNA 2007).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The distinctive lamellae are not always present; then the plants may resemble Tortula species (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
North American Range

AK and NU, BC, CA to UT and AZ (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Lincoln County (Elliott & Pipp, 2016).

Stone surfaces and soil (FNA 2007) in dry conditions, desert (Flowers 1973). Elevation: 1640-4590 feet (FNA 2007).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous, sometimes with perigonia situated close to but not mingling with the perichaetia. Perichaetial bracts similar to stem leaves, not enveloping the stem. Seta bearing the capsule beyond the perichaetial leaves. Capsule 0.5-1.5 mm in length; operculum with cell rows spiraled; peristome a delicate latticework (FNA 2007), the upper joints frequently sticking to the operculum (Flowers 1973). Calyptra hood-like, split along the side or not (FNA 2007).

No specialized vegetative reproduction (FNA 2007).

  • 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. 2007. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 27. Bryophytes: Mosses, Part 1. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. xxi + 713 pp.
    • Flowers, S. 1973. Mosses: Utah and the West. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 567 p.
  • 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.
    • Lawton, E. 1971. Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Hattori Botanical Laboratory. Japan: Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. 362 pages plus appendices.
    • 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:
Lamella Pterygoneurum Moss — Pterygoneurum lamellatum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from