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Leptophascum leptophyllum (C. Müller Hal.) J. Guerra & M. J. Cano [Pottiaceae]
map of distribution

Tortula rhizophylla (Sak.) Iwats. & Saito, Misc. Bryol. Lichen. 6: 59. 1972. -- Physcomitrium rhizophyllum Sak., Bat. Nag. Tokyo 52: 469. 1938.
    Tortula vectensis Warb. & Crundw., Trans. Brit. Bryol. Soc. 4(5): 763. 1965.

Plants scattered on soil, to 3 mm high, green to brownish-green. Leaves of California plants in comose apical clusters, contorted to somewhat crispate but not regularly keeled when dry, ovate-oblong, to 1.5 mm long, 2.5–3: 1. Median laminal cells to 25 µm broad, quadrate to hexagonal with angular lumens, thin-walled without corner thickenings. Marginal cells markedly smaller, thicker walled and more quadrate than the adjacent interior cells. Basal marginal cells similar to the distal marginal cells. Interior basal cells short-rectangular and somewhat inflated, to 30 µm broad, 2–4: 1, smooth, thin-walled. Costa occupying about 1/8 of leaf base, little tapering, excurrent in a short, reflexed acumen or blunt and ending several cells before the apex. Abaxial cells of costa narrowly rectangular, to 12 µm, 4–10: 1, smooth, not pitted on lateral walls. Adaxial cells of costa similar to the adjacent laminal cells. Costa cross-section about 2 times as broad as thick, with a strong dorsal stereid band, a single layer of guide cells, and with a well-developed adaxial epidermis. Margin plane throughout, crenulate-serrate in distal portion with the teeth somewhat vesiculose. Axillary hairs to 150 µm, to 10 cells long, with no basal brown cells. Rhizoids red-brown, to 20 pm wide at base, smooth and monopodially branched. Stem with central strand, with the inner cortical cells rather thick-walled and with the outer cortical cells smaller and thicker walled in several rows. Reddish-brown, multicellular and elliptic gemmae abundant on rhizoids near the base of the plant.
    Dioicous in California with all known plants archegoniate.

Leptophascum leptophyllum is a very broadly distributed plant throughout Eurasia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania. In all of its localities, it grows on disturbed or otherwise barren coarse textured soils. Its small size and unaesthetic habitats result in infrequent collections. In California, it has been found in only three geographically diverse lowland habitats: San Francisco City; coastal Santa Cruz, and Merced River floodplain. It is probably no coincidence that the collections of this inconspicuous moss were made by the three most intensive collectors: Norris, Shevock and Kellman.

Mail a correction to Paul Wilson ·
LiteratureAs Chenia leptophylla Kellman 2003; Shevock and Toren 2001.
IllustrationsMalcolm et al. 2009 p. 133; Arts and Sollman 1991; Guerra and Cano 2000; Guerra and Cros 2003. As Chenia leptophylla Zander 1993.
BioregionsCW, GV.
VouchersMerced Co.: banks of road about 0.5 mile east of Snelling along Merced River, Norris 69844; San Francisco Co.: Lincoln Blvd and 41st Street, Golden Gate Park, Toren 2921 (CAS, SFSU); Santa Cruz Co.: Liddell Creek Fire Road at Highway 1 south of Davenport, Kellman 755 (CAS, UC).
   

Elevation by latitude plot for Leptophascum leptophyllum
   in California

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