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Montana Field Guide

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


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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).

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)

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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    • 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:
Crumpled-leaf Moss — Rhytidium rugosum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from