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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

A Pseudocalliergon Moss - Pseudocalliergon turgescens
Other Names:  Scorpidium turgescens, Calliergon turgescens

Potential Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SH

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

General Description
Plants: Pleurocarpous (Vitt 1988), developing deep mats or tufts, stout, yellow-brown to olive green below with golden tips, (Lawton 1971), the gold glistening when dry (FNA 2014). Stems 3-10 cm in length (Lawton 1971), sparingly and erratically branched, possessing a central strand (FNA 2014).

Leaves: Stem leaves upright and overlapping or somewhat spreading, ovate or widely so, with an abrupt narrowing to the apex (FNA 2014), 2-2.7 mm in length (Lawton 1971); margins smooth to sometimes extremely fine-toothed in part (FNA 2014), frequently inrolled and overlapping above (Lawton 1971), borderless; apex concave, broadly rounded or obtuse with a short apiculus (FNA 2014); base rounded, slightly clasping the stem, not decurrent (Lawton 1971). The costa is usually double and 1/5-2/5 the length of the leaf; if single (rare), then a little longer (FNA 2014).

Leaf Cells: Upper cells smooth (FNA 2014), long and thin with ends attenuating; apical and basal cells broader, shorter, and thicker-walled, with basal cells pitted and more deeply colored (Lawton 1971); alar cells smaller and more slender (Lawton 1971), quadrate to oblong, a little swollen, thick- to very thick-walled, becoming yellow with age; marginal cells 1-layered (FNA 2014).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The leaves of P. turgescens are almost always yellow or golden-brown except in shaded habitats (FNA 2014).

P. turgescens and the straight-leaved forms of Scorpidium scorpioides are often confused. However, P. turgescens has numerous small, thick-walled alar cells and no hyalodermis. S. scorpioides has a few large thin-walled alar cells and at least an incomplete hyalodermis. S. scorpioides frequently displays red colors; red is never seen in P. turgescens (FNA 2014).

Species Range

Range Comments
North America: Found in all Canadian provinces and territories except PE, in the west extending s to OR, ID, CO, MN, MI, OH, NY, MA, VT, and ME; Greenland, South America, Eurasia and Africa (FNA 2014). Known in Montana from Flathead and Teton Counties (Elliott 2016).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 2

(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)

Found on wet soil in calcareous seeps and fens, on smooth limestone or in small soil indentations, on rocks rinsed with calcium-laden water, submerged in small water bodies (FNA 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Dioicous. Capsule horizontal or tilted (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.
    • 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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    • 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:
A Pseudocalliergon Moss — Pseudocalliergon turgescens.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from