moss-Tortella tortuosa

Tortella tortuosa
“tall tornado moss”

Tortella tortuosa phoyo by Bob Klips

Tortella tortuosa. June 4, 2014. Tucker County, WV.

Tortella tortuosa photo by Bob Klips

Tortella tortuosa. June 4, 2014. Tucker County, WV.

Tortella tortuosa photo by Bob Klips

Tortella tortuosa, collected mid-May 2014 from alvar in Lakeside Ohio.

Tortella tortuosa photo by Bob Klips

Tortella tortuosa. June 4, 2014. Tucker County, WV.

How to recognize Tortella tortuosa: The leaves of this tuft or sod forming moss are 4-6 mm long, linear-lanceolate, with the midrib extending into the tip of the leaf as a subula or awn. When dry the leaves are strongly contorted with spirally curled tips. When moist they are concave below and keeled above with wavy to undulate margins. The cells are elongate in the upper tip and the hyaline leaf base. These hyaline cells extend up along each margin forming a V-shape of the pleuri-papillose quadrate dark green cells in the rest of the leaf. Male and female plants are separate, unlike its sister species, T. humilis which has both male and female organs on a single plant; T. humilis often has sporophytes, while this moss seldom does.

Where to find Tortella tortuosa: Look for this moss on bark at the base of cedar and birch trees, on soil over boulders and rock ledges, and on limestone.

 Tortella-tortuosa-simplemap

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