|Forsstroemia trichomitria forms a shaggy mat on the
trunk of a Liquidambar tree along the Hillsborough River
in west-central Florida. Photograph by Alan Franck.
Forsstroemia trichomitria (Hedw.) Lindb. (Cryphaeaceae) is an epiphytic moss that forms luxurious mats on hardwood trunks in moist forests. It is found throughout eastern Asia as well as eastern North America and northeastern Mexico. It is in the same family as Cryphaea glomerata, recently featured here, and has a very similar habit. I am grateful to my colleague, Alan Franck, for the new collection and photographs of this species in the field. Alan was recently appointed curator of the USF Herbarium, and shares my interest in mosses and other "cryptogams."
|The orange capsules are conspicuous among the upturned
leafy shoots. Photograph by Alan Franck.
|The ovate-triangular leaf of Forsstroemia trichomitria has distinctive folds
along both edges. A weak midrib can be seen
toward the torn bottom of the leaf. From Franck 3785 (USF).
|The cells in the central and upper part of the leaf are
elongate, tapered, and slightly curved, with conspicuous
clear cell walls between them.
|The orange capsules are pushed out a short distance from the leafy shoots.
A ring of yellow teeth around the capsule mouth serves to push spores out
as it alternately moistens and dries out.
Photo from the dried specimen (Franck 3785, USF)