|Leskea gracilescens growing on the side of a tree. Photo by|
Robert A Klips
Three of the four species of Leskea
found in North America have been reported from Florida: Leskea australis
Sharp, L. gracilescens
Hedwig, and L. obscura
Hedwig. These are creeping, irregularly branched, mat-forming mosses, often with a reddish coloration, found on the bases or lower trunks of hardwoods and cypress trees, or on decaying logs.
|A leaf of Leskea gracilescens, showing the small roundish|
cells with papillae (translucent light spots). Photo by Kalman
Strauss, posted in the Consortium of North American
Bryophyte Herbaria database.
Leaves are ovate and pointed, with midribs that usually end before the tip. Leaf cells are small, roundish, and papillose, and the spore capsules are erect and more-or-less symmetrical.
Only Leskea australis
is known from central Florida. It has been found throughout the state, but has not been reported from the extreme south, the western panhandle or the Atlantic coastal counties. Elsewhere, it is found throughout the southeastern U.S.
|A leafy shoot of Leskea gracilescens with an inset of the |
papillose leaf cells. Photo by Robert A.Klips
|The erect, symmetrical spore capsules of Leskea gracilescens.|
Photo by Kalman Strauss.
and L. obscura
are both widely distributed in eastern North America, live in the same habitats as L. australis
, and differ in minor ways. L. grascilescens
has been reported from several counties in North Florida, elsewhere throughout eastern North America, and L. obscura
only from Leon County.
species are similar to Haplocladium microphyllum
, also in the Leskeaceae, but in Haplocladium
the spore capsules are bent distincly to the side, and the leaf tips more drawn out into a narrow point. H. microphyllum
is also more likely found in soil, rocks or damp wood than on tree trunks.
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