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A Scleropodium Moss - Scleropodium touretii
Other Names:  Scleropodium touretei

Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status


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General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous, growing in open (FNA 2014) or sometimes somewhat dense mats, green, or green with yellowish tones, becoming somewhat brown with age (Lawton 1971), shiny (FNA 2014), branching erratically (Lawton 1971). Stems sometimes reaching 10 cm in length, prostrate, possessing a central strand; pseudoparaphyllia deltoid with a narrowly-angled apex; axillary hairs present with cells sometimes as long as 6:1. Branches resembling stems, appearing swollen with foliage crowded or sometimes less julaceous (and with leaves remotely arranged) and less swollen, occasionally long and tapering (FNA 2014).

Stem Leaves: Somewhat flattened to the stem (FNA 2014) to spreading a little (Lawton 1971), crowded and overlapping to more remotely spaced, cupped, not pleated, 0.9-2 mm in length, seldom to 1.2 mm in width (FNA 2014), not as large on the flagelliform branches (Lawton 1971), widely egg-shaped to somewhat rectangular with ovate tendencies, suddenly narrowing to become shortly acuminate or apiculate; leaf edges finely saw-toothed above and nearly smooth below; costa extending over half to about 80% of the leaf length (FNA 2014); frequently spined terminally (Lawton 1971).

Leaf Cells: Laminal cells somewhat long, slender, and a little bent or curved (FNA 2014); medial laminal cells long and slender (Lawton 1971); basal cells adjacent to alar region somewhat long; alar cells square, with medium-fine walls, the region not distinct (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The similar Scleropodium obtusifolium also has branches that appear swollen and somewhat long, slender basal cells next to the costa; however, S. obtusifolium lacks an acumen whereas S. touretii has an acumen the length of a few cells or more (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

Canada: BC; USA: WA to CA (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Flathead and Lake Counties (Elliott and Pipp 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)

Soil and rock (Elliott and Pipp 2016).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Perichaetial bracts with long acumen bent back and downward (FNA 2014), to 3.5 mm in length (Lawton 1971). Seta russet, 10-20 mm tall, very coarse all over. Capsule level or tilted (FNA 2014), the theca roughly 2 mm in length (Lawton 1971); peristome allowing capsule mouth to open in low humidity (FNA 2014); cilia with short, crosswise bars (Lawton 1971). Calyptra without hair (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
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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.
    • Flowers, S. 1973. Mosses: Utah and the West. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 567 p.
    • 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.
    • Malcolm, W. M., and Nancy Malcolm. 2000. Mosses and Other Bryophytes: An Illustrated Glossary. Nelson, New Zealand: Micro-Optics Press.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Scleropodium Moss — Scleropodium touretii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from