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California Moss eFlora
|Jan 1 2013 ·|
Members of the genus Mielichhoferia are reminiscent of Pohlia (Mniaceae) on the basis of the acrocarpous habit, the rather large but elongate cells with some of the distal cells of the leaf sparingly prorate, and the papillose rhizoids. The peculiar growth habit of these mosses is markedly different from that of Pohlia. Unlike the mostly soil-inhabiting Pohlia, our species of Mielichhoferia are generally petricolous.
see key to Pohlia Etc.
Mosses considered in this section produce clones that are strikingly glaucous with a distinctive and unique blue-green coloration. They typically cover extensive, yet highly localized, areas on highway roadcuts, and these clones have the peculiar feature of growing as contiguous plants that are on inspection a close association of many individual tufts each of differing heights. The rather large pale green sporophytes are often present in the colony despite their putatively dioicous nature.
Species included are in Mielichhoferiaceae:
Mielichhoferia elongata (Hoppe & Hornschuch ex W. J. Hooker) Nees & Hornschuch in Nees
Mielichhoferia mielichhoferiana (Funck) Loeske, recognized from CA since 2004
Mielichhoferia tehamensis Showers
Mielichhoferia shevockii (A. J. Shaw) A. J. Shaw, in 2004 as Schizymenium shevockii
Most of our collections of Mielichhoferia elongata come from seasonally wet metamorphic rocks, mostly ones with a high concentration of heavy metal ores, especially copper. Mielichhoferia shevockii may be found with it. Mielichhoferia tehamensis seems to be restricted to the volcanic rocks in alpine areas near Mount Lassen.
A. Leaves recurved at least near their bases .....Mielichhoferia elongata
A. Leaf margins plane throughout .....B
B. Median leaf cells to 15 µm wide; leaves erect spreading, acute to acuminate distally; peristome present .....Mielichhoferia shevockii
B. Median leaf cells to 10 µm wide; leaves erect, often rigidly so, obtuse distally; peristome absent .....Mielichhoferia tehamensis
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