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California Moss eFlora
|Jan 1 2013 ·|
The distinguishing feature of Stegonia is seen in a leaf cross-section: the abaxial wall of each laminal cell is very thick, while the adaxial wall is thin. Sporophytes in Stegonia can be sessile or exserted on a seta; they can be cleistocarpous or stegocarpous.
Key to Stegonia
Mosses included in this section are very small, bulbiform, costate and concave-leaved plants with the costa percurrent to long excurrent.
Species included are in Pottiaceae:
Stegonia hyalinotricha (Cardot & Thériot) Zander
Stegonia latifolia (Schwägrichen) Venturi ex Brotherus
Stegonia pilifera (Bridel) H. Crum & L. E. Anderson
Stegonia grows as individual plants but seldom as a monospecific turf. The plants are therefore very inconspicuous and seldom collected except when fertile. Stegonia hyalinotricha often grows among plants of the very similar Phascum cuspidatum. Under such circumstances, one can distinguish the Stegonia by the longer awn, as well as by the almost orbicular proximal leaves. These proximal leaves are produced early and usual wilt and fall off before sporophyte maturation. In the field, S. latifolia and S. pilifera will be confused with small species of Tortula, but the more well developed peristome of Tortula should allow distinction from Stegonia with its very short and rather abortive peristome.
A. Leaves with costa merely percurrent or excurrent in a short mucro .....Stegonia latifolia
A. Leaves with costa excurrent into a bleached to somewhat hyaline awn .....B
B. Median leaf cells papillose; awn bleached but not truly hyaline; capsule emergent on a long seta .....Stegonia pilifera
B. Median leaf cells smooth or nearly so; awn nearly hyaline; capsule sessile .....Stegonia hyalinotricha
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