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Brachythecium erythrorrhizon Bruch & W. P. Schimper [Brachytheciaceae]
map of distribution

Plants in soft, loose mats, pale green to whitish-green, irregularly branched with the branches prostrate to ascending with hamate-curled apices. Primary stems to 15 mm long with leaves somewhat larger than those on the branches. Branch leaves to 2 mm, 3.5–4.5: 1, symmetric and straight and usually with a lateral twist to the acumen, somewhat concave near the base, with a single deep plica on each side of the leaf, ovate-lanceolate, weakly spreading wet or dry. Leaf apices narrowly acuminate, only gradually narrowed. Margins serrate and plane above but entire and somewhat recurved at base, short decurrent by only 2–5 cells with that decurrency up to 3 cells wide at top. Median cells smooth, spinulose and thin-walled, to 8 µm wide, 6–15: 1, not pitted. Basal juxtacostal cells short rectangular with oblique end walls, rather thin-walled but not pitted, to 10 µm wide. Marginal cells of alar region short rectangular, to 10 µm wide, 2–4: 1. Interior alar group similar to marginal alar cells or with a few scattered quadrate cells. Costa ending somewhat above leaf middle, tapering but not usually spinose at apex. Juvenile leaves to 200 µm long, deltoid-triangular, nearly as long as wide, coarsely serrate across the acute apex. Axillary hairs, small, to 65 µm long, 3 celled with a two pale brown basal cell, and with the distal cell thick-walled and tapering to its apex. Rhizoids sparingly produced, fasciculate on the abaxial leaf base, smooth and red-brown, to 12 µm wide at insertion, long, monopodially and planar branched. Stem cross-section with central strand, a stereome 2–3 cells thick, well differentiated from the larger and thinner walled cells of the medulla.
    Dioicous with male plants typically somewhat smaller than the females. Perichaetial leaves to 2 mm long, entire to lightly serrulate above the middle, not plicate, inconspicuously costate in only the basal 1/4, sheathing at base but reflexed and secund distally. Seta smooth throughout, 10–15 mm long, distally geniculate. Capsule dark brown to reddish brown, inclined, strangulate but not distorted or sulcate when dry. Urn strongly arcuate and asymmetrical, to 2.5 mm, about 2.5: 1. Exothecial cells in regular rows, 15–20 µm wide, 1–3: 1, with walls rather thick (lumen: wall ratio 4–5: 1) but with no corner thickenings. Operculum conic, 1/4 to 1/3 as long as urn. Annulus present, of several rows of quadrate and thick-walled cells. Stomata present on slightly raised pustules at base of capsule, short and vertical pored. Exostome teeth narrowly lanceolate with inconspicuous shoulders, about 6: 1, horizontally striate, orange to red-brown, inflexed when dry. Endostome segments fairly papillose, about as long as exostome, with basal membrane about as long as the free segments. Cilia 1–2, narrow and appendiculate. Spores smooth to inconspicuously papillose, 15–20 µm.

Mail a correction to Paul Wilson ·
LiteratureJamieson 1969; Koch 1950a, 1951e; McGrew 1976; Spjut 1971.
IllustrationsIgnatov 1998; Ireland 1982; Lawton 1971; Smith 1978.
BioregionsCaR, NW, SN, SNE.
VouchersAlpine Co.: Highway 88 at Hope Valley, Toiyabe National Forest, Norris 48499; Fresno Co.: Smith Meadows, Sierra National Forest, Shevock et al. 17458; Mariposa Co.: Summit Road two miles north of Fish Camp, Sierra National Forest, Norris 85360; Santa Barbara Co.: Bates Canyon, Cole Springs Campground, Norris 55352; Siskiyou Co.: upper Abbott's Cabin at Big Meadow, Marble Mountain Wilderness, Klamath National Forest, Spjut 1521 & 1523 (UC) and Big Boulder Lake west of Carrville, Klamath National Forest, Norris & Streimann 74844; Tehama Co.: Tomhead Gulch, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Norris 56906.
   

Elevation by latitude plot for Brachythecium erythrorrhizon
   in California

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