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Montana Field Guides

Crumpled-leaf Moss - Rhytidium rugosum
Other Names:  Wrinkle-leaved Feather Moss, Beruffled Moss

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous (Vitt 1988), robust, growing in open mats, to 10 cm tall, lime-green to yellow-brown. Stems prostrate to ascending, 2-3 mm in diameter, thick in appearance from a dense cover of leaves (FNA 2014), branching erratically; branches ascending, frequently curved at the ends, occasionally with pseudoparaphyllia (Lawton 1971), to 10 mm in length (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Stem leaves upright, overlapping, falcate-secund, lanceolate to widely ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, faintly folded lengthwise, very transversely wavy, 2.8-4.5 mm in length, 0.8-1.4 mm in width; margins smooth or nearly so below, finely toothed above, curved backward nearly to leaf tip; costa sometimes forked once, extending 1/3-2/3 the leaf length. Branch leaves 1.2-2.3 mm in length, 0.4-0.8 mm in width, smaller than the stem leaves, not as strongly falcate-secund (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Alar cells porose and thick-walled (Lawton 1971), square to short-rectangular, numerous; medial laminal cells wavy, narrow (FNA 2014) and long; basal cells wider, not as long, with thick, porose walls (Lawton 1971).

Capsules ripen in summer (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The falcate-secund and prominently wrinkled leaves combined with margins narrowly curved backward distinguish this coarse plant (Vitt 1988).

Range Comments
Greenland; Canada: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT; USA: AK, AZ, CO, CT, IA, IN, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WI, WV, WY; Mexico; Central America; South America; Eurasia; Africa (FNA 2014). In Montana, known from Carbon, Glacier, Mineral, and Valley Counties (Elliott 2016).

Stones, scanty soil or humus layers over stone, wide-open rock shelves, slopes, and cliffs. Elevation: 330-12,800 feet (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Seta elongate, 2-2.5 cm. Capsule 2-2.5 mm, somewhat oblong to cylindric, bowed, unfurrowed, nearly upright to horizontal. Dioicous (FNA 2014), seldom fruiting (Lawton 1971).

  • 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.
    • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Crumpled-leaf Moss — Rhytidium rugosum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from