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Campylostelium saxicola (Weber & D.Mohr) Bruch & W.P.Schimper

Campylostelium saxicola (Web. & Mohr) Bruch & Schimper,
   Bryol. Eur. Vol. 2. Fasc. 29–30. 1846.
    Dicranum saxicola Weber & Mohr, Bot. Taschenb.

Plant erect, and unbranched, yellow-green to brownish, almost without a stem axis. Leaves flexuose from a patent base, erect-spreading when dry, little changed when moist. Leaves to 2.5 mm long, narrowly linear, patent to weakly reflexed from the slightly expanded base. Leaves keeled along costa, especially in median and distal region, concave in at least the proximal ½, Margins plane and entire, multistratose in distal and marginal portions with some portions of the margin up to 5 cells thick. Costa percurrent or nearly so, occupying most of the narrowly linear distal 80–90% of leaf, smooth. Costa cross-section elliptical, about twice as broad as thick at mid-leaf, with differentiated abaxial and adaxial epidermises, with a group of 5–8 guide cells and with mostly a single abaxial stereid band. Median laminal cells isodiametric, to 7 µm in diameter, rather thin-walled with small corner thickenings and with angular lumens, nearly smooth. Basal laminal cells 1–2.5: 1 only gradually differentiated from median cells but consistently longer and broader, mostly smooth. Stem round in cross-section, with one layer of brown and thick-walled cortical cells surrounding a hyaline and thin-walled central area with a central strand. Rhizoids scarce, to 9 µm at insertion, smooth, red-brown, monopodial. Axillary hairs to 150 µm, 5–6 cells in length with a single pale brown to yellowish basal cell and all other cells cylindric, thin-walled and of uniform diameter.
    Autoicous with perigonia on short branches inserted near the base of the perichaetial axis. Perichaetial leaves similar to vegetative leaves, costate and entire, with all cells of these bracts all smooth and thick-walled. Vaginulum obvious even without dissect, to 50 µm long. Seta yellow, to 5 mm long, erect or nearly so but with two to several apparent bends in that seta. Calyptra mitrate, smooth and glabrous, lobed at base and covering only the operculum. Capsule erect and stegocarpous, to 0.8 mm long, cylindric and symmetric, gradually expanded distally into the neck of the capsule, about 2: 1. Operculum long rostrate, to 1/3 the length of the urn. Exothecial cells thin-walled, polygonal with their longest axis corresponding to the length of the capsule, to 15 µm broad. Annulus broken on capsule dehiscence, Peristome inserted slightly below mouth of capsule, formed of red-brown, triangular teeth that rise from the basal collar. Peristome teeth 16, triangular and trabeculate at base, narrowed near their mid-line to filiform and heavily papillose apices. Spores hyaline to pale brown and spherical, about 8 µm in diameter, smooth.

The combination of multistratose leaves on an acrocarpous subulate leaved plant with a basally lobed calyptra makes the laboratory identification of Campylostelium saxicola almost automatic. Its discovery in California is only the second Western North American occurrence. It is limited to acidic rocks in the Cascades of western Washington State. Throughout its temperate American and Eurasian range it is almost uniformly rare with much of its occurrences seeming unpredictable. It is almost never collected without sporophytes. When the sporophytes are seen, one sees a plant with narrowly linear rather flexuose leaves with a resultant field determination as a strange subulate plant with capsules exserted on a cygneous seta. One might possibly nominate it as a Seligeria but the seta is too long and too flexed for such a diagnosis.

Mail a correction to Paul Wilson
Notesknown from WA but not yet known from OR or CA
   

Elevation by latitude plot for Campylostelium saxicola
   in California

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