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Grimmia alpestris (Weber & D. Mohr) Schleicher [Grimmiaceae]
map of distribution

Plants to 1.2 cm high, in dark green to gray-green cushions, pale brown below. Leaves imbricate when dry, erect to erect-spreading when moist, somewhat concave below but markedly keeled above, to 1.5 mm long with the awn constituting up to 1/4 of that length, lanceolate with base poorly defined, not strongly sheathing, 3–5: 1. Median leaf cells in regular longitudinal rows, unistratose in the expanded base but uniformly bistratose in the limb, smooth, to 9 µm wide, isodiametric with lumens rounded but without corner thickenings. Marginal cells mostly tri- to tetrastratose but with the individual cells not markedly differentiated. Basal juxtacostal cells rectangular, 2–2.5: 1, to 12 µm wide, with straight lateral walls. Basal marginal cells hyaline, short rectangular, 2–3: 1, to 10 µm wide, with transverse walls thicker than lateral walls. Costa evenly wide and well-defined from base to apex, filling up to 1/6 of leaf base, percurrent in the awn. Costa cross-section mostly 3 cells thick, less than 1.5 times as thick as the adjacent leaf, with a weak abaxial band of substereids and with a single layer of larger cells on the adaxial face. Leaf margin erect to incurved, 3–4 stratose above the leaf middle, entire. Awn not decurrent, lightly serrulate to spinose-prorate. Axillary hairs to 100 µm long, with 4–6 short rectangular, thin- walled cells, without basal brown cells. Rhizoids sparingly produced from very old portions of plant, monopodial but rarely branched, pale brown to hyaline, to 25 µm wide at base, smooth. Stem cross-section rounded-pentagonal with a rather poorly defined central strand, and with the rest of the stem nearly homogeneous, of rather small and moderately thick-walled cells.
    Dioicous with male plants smaller than the female. Perichaetial leaves rather closely sheathing the base of seta, somewhat larger and with a longer awn than the adjacent vegetative leaves. Seta to 2 mm long, pale yellow to yellow, straight and smooth. Urn erect and cylindrical, symmetrical, smooth to lightly wrinkled when dry, to 1.5 mm long, 2–2.5: 1, not strumose. Operculum conic, less than 1/3 as long as urn. Annulus formed of 2–3 rows of relatively more thin-walled cells. Calyptra cucullate, lacerate at base, covering about 1/2 of urn. Peristome very deeply inserted below mouth of capsule, red-brown, to 300 µm long, cribrose along median line near the apex, papillose to vertically striate-papillose. Suboral exothecial cells to 15µm wide, with walls deeply reddened, transversely elongate in up to 6 rows. Median exothecial cells to 30 µm wide, in somewhat regular vertical rows, reniform to elliptical, 1.5–3: 1, rather thick walled. Stomata phaneroporous, rarely produced at base of urn. Spores smooth, to 10 µm.

Mail a correction to Paul Wilson ·
LiteratureCooke 1941; Koch 1950a, 1951e; Koch and Ikenberry 1954; Lawton 1971; Muñoz 1997, 1998b; Spjut 1971; Steere et al. 1954.
IllustrationsFlowers 1973; Greven 2003; Ignatov and Cao 1994; Ignatov and Ignatova 2003; Lawton 1971; Muñoz 1998b; Smith 1978.
BioregionsSN.
VouchersFresno Co.: Highway 168 northeast of Shaver Lake, Sierra National Forest, Norris 99921; Nevada Co.: Donner Pass Rest Area, Highway 80, Tahoe National Forest, Whittemore 3031 (MO) [determined by Muñoz]; Tulare Co.: Kern Plateau near Blackrock Station, Sequoia National Forest, Shevock 18411 (determined by Muñoz) and Rock Creek north of Rock Creek Lake, Sequoia National Park, Shevock 18567 (determined by Muñoz).
   

Elevation by latitude plot for Grimmia alpestris
   in California

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