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Montana Field Guides

A Sanionia Moss - Sanionia uncinata
Other Names:  Drepanocladus uncinatus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous (FNA 2014), growing in mats (Lawton 1971), green and sometimes with yellow tones (FNA 2014), occasionally brown proximally. Stems 20-80 mm in length (Lawton 1971), generally pinnate; hyalodermis and central strand both present; paraphyllia lacking; rhizoids or their initials arising from the stem or the dorsal side of the costal attachment (FNA 2014).

Stem Leaves: Densely-spaced, curving in sickle-like fashion or the ends rolled more tightly into a circle, seldom straight, 0.4-1.1 mm in width, pleated (seldom not), lance-shaped, narrowing gradually to a long or very long, slender acumen; leaf edges flat or seldom curved back and down toward the apex, finely toothed above, unbordered; base egg-shaped to deltoid and rounded, not or scarcely extending down the stem; costa single, vanishing in the acumen (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Apical cells a little roughened dorsally from distal cell ends overlapping (FNA 2014); median cells longer than the basal cells (Lawton 1971); alar cells oblong, short to long, swollen, distinguished from adjacent cells; supra-alar cells green with chlorophyll, square to oblong, the walls fine or slightly thickened, not pitted (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Capsules typically level and bowed and with both exostome and endostome present distinguish this species from other North American Sanionia (FNA 2014).

Range Comments
North American Range

Canada: Found in all provinces and territories; USA: AK, the continental states west to the coast from the line formed by and including MT s to NM, also SD, MN to MI and PA, NY to ME, NC; Mexico (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Beaverhead, Carbon, Cascade, Fergus, Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Granite, Lake, Lincoln, Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Park, Powell, Ravalli, Sanders, and Valley Counties (Elliott and Pipp 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 66

(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, humus, logs, and stone (Elliott and Pipp 2016) in forested or exposed areas. Occurring from lowlands to high altitudes (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Autoicous. Interior perichaetial leaves with acumen very long (FNA 2014), the leaves to 6 mm in length, pleated. Seta 15-30 mm tall (Lawton 1971). Capsule level, seldom upright to tilted, typically bowed (FNA 2014), or sometimes straight (Lawton 1971); exostome with long teeth that are wide proximally, toothed above; endostome with openings restricted to the center longitudinal line; cilia present (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
    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.
    • Malcolm, B., N. Malcolm, J. Shevock, and D. Norris. 2009. California Mosses. Nelson, New Zealand: Micro-Optics Press. 430 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
A Sanionia Moss — Sanionia uncinata.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from