|The asymmetrical capsules of Isopterygium rise on |
long stalks from along the creeping stems, and curve to the side.
Isopterygium tenerum (Sw.) Mitt. is one of the most common mosses in Central Florida, yet easily confused with others of similar growth habit. That habit is what we might call "creeping." as apposed to the upright habit of the three previous mosses in this series. Stems lie against the ground or flop over each other in a thick mat. The numerous delicate leaves spread out, largely on the two sides of the stem so as to face upward and gather the maximum amount of light. The leaves remain in that spread out condition when they dry. They lack a midrib and the cells are uniformly narrow and worm-like, with thick walls. The sporophytes emerge from along the stem, lifting the sporangia, or capsules, high above the mat of vegetation. The sporangia are asymmetrical and curve to the side. When dry, the capsules are constricted below the mouth, which is lined with two rows of teeth.
|The leaf cells of Isopterygium and its relatives are narrow and worm-like, with thick, clear walls. |
The leaves are simple in structure, lacking a midrib (costa) or specialized cells at the base.
|The delicate, feathery foliage of Isopterygium spreads out into a tangled mat. |
The flat leaves maintain their shape and orientation as they dry.
similar, but has papillae at the upper end of each leaf cell, and the leaves are pressed to the stem when dry, like Entodon.