Plants erect in light green to yellowish tufts, to 1 cm high. Lower leaves scale-like and appressed, often buried in the substratum; upper leaves erect spreading and mostly forming a bulbiform, comose cluster, somewhat contorted to little changed when dry, deeply concave, to 4 mm long, ovate oblong to obovate, 2–3: 1. Median laminal cells irregularly short rectangular to hexagonal, thin walled without corner thickening, to 40 µm wide, 2–5: 1, smooth. Basal cells somewhat longer than median cells but otherwise little differentiated. Margins plane to somewhat recurved, usually somewhat serrulate above the middle. Costa subpercurrent to shortly excurrent with its cross-section homogeneous. Axillary hairs to 5 cells long, to 150 µm, with no basal brown cell, not offset from leaf insertion. Rhizoids mostly near base of plant, smooth to very lightly papillose, pale to red-brown, to 30 µm in diameter at base, sparingly branched, arising from scattered nematogons. Stem cross-section with a central strand, with leptodermous and hyaline inner corticals and with 1–2 layers of somewhat pachydermous, red brown outer cortical cells.
Autoicous with perigonia in leaf axils near the perichaetia or on the apices of separate short branches. Perichaetia terminal with bracts little differentiated. Seta yellow to reddish, smooth, so flexuose as to tangle with adjacent setae, to 35 mm long. Urn orange-brown to brownish, to 3 mm long, 2–3: 1, strongly arcuate and sulcate. Operculum dome shaped, almost without an apiculus. Annulus well-defined, revoluble. Exothecial cells at capsule mouth thick walled, to 50 µm broad, rectangular and transversely elongate, 0.2–0.4: 1, strongly differentiated in up to 4 rows. Exothecial cells at middle of urn quadrate to rectangular, 1–5: 1, to 20 µm broad, very thick walled on ridges of capsule with lumen:wall ratio 0.25–1: 1, thinner walled in valleys of the sulcate capsule. Stomata restricted to neck of capsule, phaneroporous, formed of a single doughnut-shaped cell. Exostome teeth 16, pale brown to reddish, to 800 µm long, finely and densely papillose striate below but papillose above, strongly trabeculate and appendiculate with both the appendiculae of adjacent teeth and the apices of those teeth fused. Endostome segments about 2/3 as long as the peristome teeth, lightly papillose, without basal membrane or cilia. Calyptra cucullate and rostrate, inflated, sheathing most of capsule. Spores light green, to 20 µm, smooth.
This is the most abundant species of Funaria throughout the world. It is an excellent indicator of fire, usually present in dense swards on the ashes after a bonfire or on the soil after a forest fire. It is usually with sporophytes, is easily recognized by the inflated and beaked calyptra, the arcuate and sulcate capsule, and by the tendency for the long and flexuose setae to wrap around one another. Funaria hygrometrica is found throughout California, even in sheltered areas near springs in Death Valley.
|Literature||Bourell 1981; Bradshaw 1926; Coville 1893; Harpel 1980a; Harthill et al. 1979; Holmberg 1969; Jamieson 1969; Kellman 2003; Kingman 1912; Koch 1950a, 1951e; Koch and Ikenberry 1954; Lawton 1971; Lesquereux 1868; Long 1978; McCleary 1972; Millspaugh and Nuttall 1923; Mishler 1978; Moxley 1928; Sayre 1940; Shevock and Toren 2001; Showers 1982; Sigal 1975; Spjut 1971; Steere 1954; Steere et al. 1954; Strid 1974; Sullivant 1856; Toren 1977; Watson 1880; Whittemore and Sommers 1999; Yurky 1990, 1995. As Funaria convoluta Bartram 1928; Howe 1896; Kingman 1912; Lesquereux 1868; Lesquereux and James 1884; Watson 1880. As Funaria hibernica Lesquereux 1868. As Funaria hygrometrica var. convoluta Cooke 1941.|
|Illustrations||Malcolm et al. 2009 p. 48; Crum and Anderson 1981; Flowers 1973; Ignatov and Ignatova 2003; Ireland 1982; Lawton 1971; Sharp et al. 1994; Smith 1978.|
|Bioregions||CaR, CW, DMoj, DSon, GV, MP, NW, SN, SNE, SW.|
|Vouchers||Alameda Co.: Brushy Peak northeast of Livermore, Norris 87166; Fresno Co.: Ross Landing Road at Indian Head, Sierra National Forest, Shevock, Ertter, & York 13484; Humboldt Co.: Eyesee Road at China Gulch, Six Rivers National Forest, Norris 22150; Los Angeles Co.: Wrigley Memorial Gardens, Santa Catalina Island, Harpel 2402 (pers. herb.); Merced Co.: future campus site of University of California, Merced, Norris 103117; Modoc Co.: north of Middle Alkali Lake northeast of Cedarville, Norris 47478; Santa Barbara Co.: Lobos Canyon, Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, Shevock & Rodriquez 20845; Solano Co.: Jepson Prairie Preserve east of Fairfield, Norris 101393.|