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Eurhynchium pulchellum (Hedwig) Jennings [Brachytheciaceae]
map of distribution

Plants in cushions, mats, olive-green to green, often. Stems to 10 cm long, ascending to erect; or pendent to 50 cm long. Pinnately branched and julaceous with branches of pendent plants microphyllous and attenuate. Leaves to 3.5 mm, 4–7:1, symmetric, sagittate- to ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, often with the apex twisted, loosely imbricate when dry and little changed when moist. Margins plane but sometimes ascending in the acumen, not decurrent, entire to serrulate below the middle, coarsely serrate above. Median cells mostly smooth but usually with some dorsal prorations in distal portion of leaf, 5–12 µm wide, 6–10:1, moderately thick-walled with lumen/wall ratio to 2:1, usually pitted. Alar cells quadrate and very thick-walled (lumen/wall ratio 0.5–1:1), with intensely green contents, abruptly differentiated from adjacent laminal cells, often in an excavate pocket. Apical cells rhomboidal, nearly isodiametric. Costa extending about 3/4, usually ending in an abaxial spine. Pseudoparaphyllia deltoid to orbicular, strongly overarching the bud. Axillary hairs 5-celled, to 120 µm with 2 basal brown cells, not offset from leaf insertion. Rhizoids red-brown, 10–12 µm, smooth, in scattered fascicles on ventral portion of prostrate stem.
    Dioicous with male plants similar to females. Perigonia on main axis or on larger lateral branches. Perichaetia on main axis, to 2.5 mm. Perichaetial bracts ecostate, abruptly acuminate from a ligulate-lanceolate base, cells long vermicular, to 25:1. Seta to 2 cm long, exserted. Capsule brown, inclined not distorted or sulcate when dry. Urn to 1.5 mm. Exothecial cells in regular vertical rows, to 25 µm wide, 1–2:1, with thick (lumen/wall ratio 4–6:1), red-brown walls, stomata restricted to base of c????. Operculum rostrate, about 1/4 as long as urn. Exostome horizontally striate below, papillose above, yellow-brown. Endostome segments low papillose, open on keel, about as long as exostome with basal membrane about as high as the segments. Cilia 2, not appendiculate. Spores papillose, 15–20 µm.

Shevock 29133 Mariposa County. 6900 ft., Yosemite Valley. Red fir white fir and sugar pine, granite wall above stream
    Eurhynchiastrum pulchellum (Hedwig) Ignatov & Huttunen

Eurhynchium pulchellum (Hedwig) Jennings. Man. Mosses W. Pa. 350. 1913.
    Hypnum pulchellum Hedwig. Sp. Musc. 265. 1901.
    Hypnum precox Hedwig. Sp. Musc. 249. 1901.
    Leskea fasciculosa Hedwig. Sp. Musc. 217. 1901. Eurhynchium diversifolium B.S.G., Bryol. Eur.5, fasc. 57/61. 1854.
    Eurhynchium strigosum (Web. & Mohr.) B.S.G. Bryol. Eur.5, fasc. 57/61.1854.
    Eurhynchium substrigosum Kindberg ex Macoun. Ottawa Natur
    Eurhynchium substrigosum var. robustum Roll. Hedwigia 36: 52. 1897.
    Eurhynchium strigosum ssp. subbdiversifolium Kindberg. Rev. Bryol. 34: 205
    Eurhynchium fasciculosum (Hedwig) Dixon. Rev. Bryol. Lichen 6: 109. (1933) 1934.

Plants pinnately branched and often julaceous, in green to yellow-green cushions, or mats. Stems to ascending to erect from a prostrate main axis, to 5 cm high. Leaves to 1 mm, 2.5–4:1, symmetric, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, often with the apex twisted, loosely imbricate when dry and little changed when moist. Stem leaves mostly ovate lanceolate with acuminate apices; branch leaves ovate but with a bluntly rounded apex. Margins plane and short decurrent, serrulate throughout. Median cells mostly smooth, 5–8 µm wide, 10–15:1, moderately thick-walled with lumen/wall ratio to 2–4:1, usually pitted. Cells of alar region quadrate to short rectangular in a cluster usually of fewer than ten cells; these cells not very thick-walled, gradually differentiated from adjacent laminal cells. Apical cells rhomboidal, nearly isodiametric. Costa extending more than 3/4, usually ending in an abaxial spine. Pseudoparaphyllia brachthecioid with distal bract about 200 x 40 µm arching downward and enclosing the much more narrow pair of proximal bracts. Axillary hairs 4-celled, to 80 µm with no basal brown cells, not offset from leaf insertion. Rhizoids scarce, red-brown, 8–10 µm, monopodial and smooth, in scattered fascicles on ventral portion of prostrate stem.
    Dioicous and usually pseudomonoicous with male plants mostly bud-like structures in the leaf axils of the female plants. Perigonial bracts ecostate, to 0.6 mm long. Perichaetia on main axis, to 2.5 mm with the bracts ecostate with entire margins, abruptly acuminate from a ligulate-lanceolate base, cells long vermicular, to 25:1. Seta to 1.5 cm long, exserted. Capsule brown, not distorted or sulcate but somewhat strangulate when dry. Urn to 1.5 mm, 2–3:1. Exothecial cells in regular vertical rows, to 25 µm wide, 1–2:1, with thick (lumen/wall ratio 3–4: 1), red-brown walls. Stomata restricted to base capsule wall. Operculum rostrate, more than as long as urn. Exostome horizontally low striate below, smooth above, yellow-brown. Endostome segments low papillose, open on keel, about as long as exostome with basal membrane about as high as the segments. Cilia 2, nodulose. Spores smooth, 10–15 µm.

This is a very distinctive pleurocarpous moss easily recognized by the strongly differentiated stem leaves (lanceolate with acuminate apices) compared with the branch leaves (ovate with a bluntly rounded apex. It should be noted here that abruptly shorter cells of the distal leaf is a feature of most of the plants traditionally referred to Eurhynchium and the bluntly rounded leaf apices of E. pulchellum seem to be a consequence of that shortening of the distal cells.
    Within the family Brachytheciaceae, the name Brachythecium refers etymologically to its short capsule while the name Eurhychium refers to the long beak (operculum). The sporophyte of Eurhynchiastrum is unusual because of its very small seta (to 1 mm long).

Mail a correction to Paul Wilson ·
LiteratureHarthill et al. 1979; Holmberg 1969; Ireland 1982; Koch 1950a; McCleary 1972; McGrew 1976; Showers 1982; Spjut 1971; Steere 1954; Yurky 1990, 1995. As Eurhynchium diversifolium Wynne 1943. As Eurhynchium strigosum Bradshaw 1926; Lesquereux 1868; Sayre 1940. As Eurhynchium strigosum var. scabrisetum Sayre 1940. As Eurhynchium substrigosum Flowers 1973; Koch 1950a, 1951e, 1958; Lawton 1971; Spjut 1971. As Hypnum strigosum Howe 1897; Watson 1880.
IllustrationsMalcolm et al. 2009 p. 262; Abramov and Volkova 1998; Buck 1998; Flowers 1973; Ireland 1982; Lawton 1971; Smith 1978; Ignatov 1998.
BioregionsCaR, NW, SN.
VouchersAlpine Co.: Highway 4 at Stanislaus Meadows Trailhead, Stanislaus National Forest, Norris 78997; Del Norte Co.: Doctor Rock, Six Rivers National Forest, Norris 50284; Fresno Co.: Redwood Creek, Windy Gulch Redwood Grove, Sequoia National Forest, Norris, Shevock, & York 87940; Plumas Co.: Onion Valley Creek near Pacific Crest Trail, Plumas National Forest, Norris 83184; Siskiyou Co.: South Fork Lakes west of Callahan, Klamath National Forest, Norris 76902; Tulare Co.: Clover Creek, Marble Fork Kaweah River, Sequoia National Park, Shevock 15633; Tuolumne Co.: Porcupine Creek Trail near Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, Norris 100380.
   

Elevation by latitude plot for Eurhynchium pulchellum
   in California

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