Hamatocaulis Moss - Hamatocaulis vernicosus
Plants: Medium to large in size, green, brown, a mix of green and red (seldom nearly all red) (FNA 2014), tufted. Stems 3-16 cm (Lawton 1971), more-or-less pinnately branched, lacking central strand; shoot tips frequently hooked; rhizoids near or at point of leaf attachment; upper cells of axillary hairs hyaline (FNA 2014).
Leaves: Stem leaves ovate, concave, distally bending into a sudden strong curve from a straight base, distinctly or occasionally weakly pleated, 0.6-1 mm in width, with transverse bands in the sub-basal area and occasionally larger areas of the leaf red; base more-or-less upright, a little narrowed at the insertion (slightly falcate), not extending down stem; apex tapered to a short-to-long point; margins entire or finely-toothed near tip (FNA 2014), flat below, rolled inward and upward above; costa single, extending beyond mid-leaf; branch leaves smaller but otherwise resembling stem leaves (Lawton 1971).
Leaf Cells: Alar region not distinct; medial laminal cell walls thin or sometimes a little thickened (incrassate), with or without pores (FNA 2014), longer than the basal cells (Lawton 1971).
The stem leaves that are (usually) strongly-pleated, with the abrupt curve distally and the upright base, make this species readily recognizable (FNA 2014).
Canada: AB, BC, MB, NT, ON, PE, QC, YT; USA: AK, CT, IL, IN, ME, MI, MN, NJ, NY, OH, OR, VT, WA; West Indies (Dominican Republic); n South America (Columbia, Venezuela); Eurasia. Elevation: 0-4600 feet (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Flathead, Gallatin, Glacier, Lake, and Lincoln Counties (Elliott 2016).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Organic soil in mineral-rich wetlands (Elliott 2016).
Dioicous (FNA 2014). The capsule is long, the operculum cone-shaped, and the calyptra shaped like a monk’s hood and split along one side (cucullate) (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.
- 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.