Friday, November 10, 2017

Mosses of Central Florida 38. The genus Neckeropsis

A single leafy shoot of Neckeropsis
, showing the broad, blunt-tipped
leaves, arranged alternately on the two
sides of the stem. Photo from a rehydrated
herbarium specimen, (Lassiter 892
Two species of Neckeropsis (Neckeraceae) occur in Florida: Neckeropsis disticha (Hedwig) Kindberg (Neckeraceae) and Neckeropsis undulata (Hedwig) Reichardt. The two species have a similar growth form, what has been described as "shelf-forming," with flattened, fern-like  leafy shoots that extend horizontally from their attachment to the sides of tree trunks, logs, and sometimes rocks.

The leaves are broad and blunt-tipped, with midribs that don't reach the tip. Leaf cells are roundish near the tip, but more elongate further down. The spore capsules, shaped like champagne glasses, are essentially stalkless, and located along the leafy shoots, nestled within crowns of narrow, bract-like leaves.

The leaves of Neckeropsis undulata are distinctively rippled. Photo by Elizabeth Lavocat Bernard.
The spore capsules of Neckeropsis disticha are scarcely
pushed beyond the leaves by their very short stalks.
Photo by Elizabeth Lavocat Bernard.
Both species of this pantropical genus are found in Florida from Citrus and Semiole Counties southward.  They differ most conspicuously in their leaves.  Those of Neckeropsis undulata are rippled, like crisped ribbons, while those of N. disticha are more or less flat when wet, or slightly wavy when dry.
The spore capsules of Neckeropsis undulata are distinctly
larger than those of N. disticha.  Photo by Elizabeth
Lavocat Bernard.

I am grateful to Elizabeth Lavocat Bernard for permission to use photographs from a blog article on the bryophytes of Guadaloupe on the website MOVECLIM (MOntane VEgetation as listening posts for CLIMate change).

An additional interesting photo displaying the shelf-like growth pattern of this genus can be viewed at:
Neckeropsis undulata by Scott Zona

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