Monday, June 15, 2015

Mosses of Central Florida 14. Hyophiladelphus agrarius

This specimen of Hyophiladelphus was
found growing on imported red pumice used
in a landscaping in Pinellas County
(Essig 20120818-1 USF).  In Florida, it is
typically found on limestone.
[For other mosses in this series, see the Table of Contents]

Hyophiladelphus agrarius (Hedw.) R. H. Zander (Pottiaceae) is one of many Florida mosses that is found only on limestone or other calcareous materials.  The single species in this genus is found throughout the southeastern United States, from Texas to South Carolina, and throughout tropical America.  It has at times been included in the related genus Barbula, but differs in its more compact, rosette-like shoots, and the lack of papillae (small, hard, round bumps) on the leaves.  Another related genus, Tortella, has a distinctive V-shaped pattern of clear cells at the base of the leaf, by which it can be distinguished.

All of these genera, and a few others in the family, have long, hair-like teeth, twisted around the opening of the capsule.

A colony of Hyophiladelphus, dried out at the time of the
photograph, occupies pockets in the eroded surface of a limestone
boulder. (Essig 20150402-2, USF)
Hyophiladelphus shoots are upright rosettes. The broad leaves
are nearly flat when hydrated, and have prominent, thick
midrib.  The shoots are green to dark green, or almost blackish
when dry. (Lewis 20061028-1, USF)

The long, hair-like teeth  (peristome) 
around the mouth of the capusle are 
twisted around each other. 
(Essig 20060931-1, USF)

At the base of the leaf, the cells are greatly enlarged, more or less rectangular,
and sometimes brownish. (Essig 20150527-2, USAF)
Cells in the upper part of the leaf are compact and roughly
squarrish to rectangular. (Essig 20120818-1, USF)
When dry, the leaves of Hyophiladelphus roll into a curved, tube-like configuration.  In these old capsules the long, twisted
peristome teeth have mostly fallen off. (Essig20150404-2, USF)

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