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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Wideleaf Stegonia Moss - Stegonia latifolia
Other Names:  A Twist Moss

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5T4T5
State Rank: S1

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Growing closely together but not tightly so, bulbiform (FNA 2007) or budlike in appearance due to the imbricate leaves (Smith 1980), whitish or very pale green above, brown below (FNA 2007). Stems about 2 mm in height (Smith 1980), possessing a central strand, lacking a hyalodermis; axillary hairs present, the lower 2 cells rigid (FNA 2007).

Leaves: Overlapping when wet, changed little when dry, strongly concave, widely obovate-spatulate; apex obtuse or curved; margins flat, weakly toothed distally; costa faint, terminating before reaching the apex (Smith 1980).

Leaf Cells: Lower laminal cells transparent, thin and rectangular, becoming smaller and narrower or unevenly diamond-shaped distally, and smaller and thicker-walled toward the margins and apex (Smith 1980). Costa Cells: inner epidermal cells creating a protruding adaxial ridge, these adaxial cells in 3-4 rows, swollen, thin-walled, short-rectangular; adaxial stereid band lacking; guide cells 2 (frequently lacking above); hydroid strand present; abaxial stereid (or sometimes substereid) band present (FNA 2007).

Stegonia latifolia var. latifolia: Present in Montana. Costa terminating before the leaf apex (FNA 2007).

Stegonia latifolia var. pilifera: Costa extending beyond the apex in most leaves as a transparent hair point (FNA 2007).

Capsules ripen spring-summer (FNA 2007).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The two varieties sometimes occur together (FNA 2007).

Range Comments
Stegonia latifolia var. latifolia: In North America, found in AK, NT, NU, QC, NB, BC and AB s to AZ and NM (except CA and ID). Also in Greenland, Europe, and Asia (FNA 2007). Known in Montana from Glacier County (Elliott 2016).

Stegonia latifolia var. pilifera: In North America, found from AK to NU, BC, AB, and QC, and further south in CA and UT. Also known in Greenland and n Asia (FNA 2007).

Stegonia latifolia: High elevation reported at ca 13,500 feet (Weber and Wittmann 2002).

Stegonia latifolia var. latifolia: Soil, tree trunks, hillocks, rock walls. Elevation: 130-5900 feet (FNA 2007).

Stegonia latifolia var. pilifera: Soil and rocky places. Elevation: 1970-7200 feet (FNA 2007).

Reproductive Characteristics
Monoicous. Seta (2-)4-12 mm tall. Capsules exposed, projecting beyond the leaves, shaped like a slightly curved cylinder (FNA 2007), upright or nearly so (Smith 1980), 1-2 mm in length; operculum with a short beak (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.
    • Smith, A.J.E. 1980. The Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 705 pp.
    • Weber, W.A. and R.C. Wittmann. 2002. Colorado Bryological Hot Spots, 2. Mount Evans. Evansia 19(2):71-73.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Aho, Ken Andrew. 2006. Alpine and Cliff Ecosystems in the North-Central Rocky Mountains. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 343 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.
    • Lawton, E. 1971. Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Hattori Botanical Laboratory. Japan: Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. 362 pages plus appendices.
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Citation for data on this website:
Wideleaf Stegonia Moss — Stegonia latifolia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from