Monday, November 27, 2017

Mosses of Central Florida 40. Vesicularia vesicularis

Vescicularia vesicularis growing at Castellow Hammock,
Miami-Dade County. Photo by Scott Zona
Vesicularia vesicularis (Schwagrichen) Brotherus (Hypnaceae) is a creeping
moss found on moist soil, logs, rocks, and sometimes submerged in running water.  The ovate, smooth-edged leaves lack a midrib, but may have two very short ribs at the base. Leaf cells are oval to diamond-shaped in the upper leaf, somewhat smaller and roundish at the base.  The spore capsules are symmetrical and short-cylindric, becoming constricted below the opening when dry, and are nodding by a bend in the upper stalk.

The capsules of Vesicularia are nodding or slightly skewed to the side, but not asymmetric like
Isopterygium.  Photo by Scott Zona.
This species is similar in habit and general appearance to the common Isopterygium tenerum, which is also in the Hypnaceae, from which it differs most clearly by the shape of the leaf cells and the spore capsules.  In Isopterygium, the leaf  is more drawn out into a narrow tip, which is somewhat toothed, and the leaf cells are elongate and worm-like.  The capsules in Isopterygium are asymmetric and bent to the side like a bird's head.

This is a tropical species found throughout the new world tropics. In the U.S. it is found only in Florida and Louisiana. In Florida it has been collected in scattered locations throughout the peninsula and in Santa Rosa County.

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