Friday, May 17, 2013

Mosses of Central Florida 3. Funaria flavicans

Sporophytes arise from the tips of the short upright shoots after fertilization
of the eggs, and are elevated on long stalks.  
[For other mosses in this series, see the Table of Contents]

Funaria flavicans Michx. is easily recognized by its upright growth, broadly ovate leaves with a strong midrib (or costa), and its plump, nodding, slightly asymmetric capsules. It is widespread in eastern North America, and occurs in central Florida on wet sand.  Related species in Florida include F. hygrometrica, which has more strongly asymmetric and narrower capsules, and F. serrata, which has toothed leaves and lacks an annulus around the capsule mouth.

The sporangia, or capsules, are asymmetrical and nodding
to the side. The orangish ring around the capsule mouth is
an annulus.  At the upper left, a younger capsule is still
covered by the cap, or calyptra, which in this genus
 has a prolonged tip.  The ring of short outer teeth (peristome)
around the capsule mouth can be seen at the lower right.
The leaf of  Funaria is one cell thick, and has a thick central costa.
The cells are long-rectangular, with thin walls and many conspicuous chloroplasts.