Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mosses of Central Florida 45. Schwetschkeopsis fabronia

Schwetschkeopsis fabronia (Sull.) Broth. (Myriniaceae) is a creeping moss found at the bases of hardwood trees and on rocks. Leaves are scale-like and more-or-less pressed to the stem. Slender, whip-like shoots may also present.
A dried specimen of Schwetschkiopsis fabronia from the USF Herbarium (M. Newberry, s.n., 18 February 1971, Hillsborough River State Park). The scale-like leaves fold against the stem, making the shoots look like juniper twigs.

Leaf cells are long-oval, slightly bumpy on the upper surface due to projections of the cell walls at the upper end.  The midrib is lacking, very faint, or briefly double.  Spore capsules are upright and more-or-less symmetrical,but have been rarely collected.
The tip of the shoot, showing the short, scale-like leaves.
Light spots at the end of each cell indicate the
 characteristic projections of the thick cell walls.

This species is similar in appearance to Clasmatodon parvulus, but the latter has a distinct midrib.  Papillaria nigrescens is also similar, but with larger leaves, a more distinct midrib, and more elongate leaf cells, each with several papillae.

It is found in Florida from the panhandle southward to Highlands County.  Elsewhere, it is found throughout the eastern U.S., west to Texas, and also in the West Indies and Asia. 

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