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Porotrichum bigelovii (Sullivant) Kindberg [Neckeraceae]
map of distribution

Nat. Pfl. ed. 2, 11: 199. 1925.
   Hypnum bigelovii (Sullivant) Rep. Expl. Survey R. R. 5(4) 189. 1856.

Hypnum bigelovii Sull., Rep. Expl. Survey R. R. 5(4) 189. 1856.
   Thamnium bigelovii (Sullivant) Jaeger. Ber. St. Gall. Naturw. Ges. 1875–1876: 731. 1877.

Porothamnium bigelovii (Sullivant) Fleisch. in Brotherus. Nat. Pfl. 2. 11: 199. 1925.
   Thamnobryum bigelovii (Sullivant) Nieuwland. Amer. Midl. Nat. 5: 51. 1917.

Can. Rec. Sci. 6: 18. 1894. -- Hypnum bigelovii Sull., Rep. Expl. Survey R. R. 5(4) 189. 1856. -- Porothamnium bigelovii (Sull.) Fleisch. in Broth., Nat. Pfl. ed. 2, 11: 199. 1925. -- Thamnobryum bigelovii (Sull.) Nieuwl., Amer. Midl. Nat. 5: 51. 1917. -- Thamnium bigelovii (Sull.) Jaeg., Ber. S. Gall. Naturw. Ges. 1875–1876. 731. 1877.

Plants in loose mats or cushions, glossy dark-green to yellow-green, sparingly branched to almost unbranched from a long stoloniferous base, not flagelliform. Stolon and lower stipe leaves markedly smaller than those of main axis, ovate and acuminate, reflexed away from stem. Main axis to 6 cm long, decumbent to erect. Leaves on main axis to 3.0 mm, 3–5:1, complanate; lightly plicate when dry, oblong-ligulate, acute to broadly acute at the abruptly contracted apex, loosely imbricate when dry and little changed when moist; laterally inserted leaves asymmetric with their postical margins broadly incurved at base,. Margins plane, neither cordate nor decurrent, coarsely dentate with multicellular teeth above the middle, sometimes serrulate throughout. Median cells smooth, 9–12 µm wide, 3–5:1, rather thin-walled with lumen/wall ratio 5–10:1, not pitted. Basal cells shorter than median cells but with few or none quadrate. Apical cell rhomboidal, nearly isodiametric. Costa extending to 10–15 cells of apex, smooth abaxially, tapered and often sinuous distally. Pseudoparaphyllia lanceolate, erect, serrate on margin. Axillary hairs 4- celled, to 80 µm with two basal brown cells, only slightly offset from leaf insertion. Rhizoids red-brown, 8–10 µm, smooth, scattered in fascicles throughout ventral portion of prostrate stem.
    Dioicous with male plants similar to females. Perigonia on main axis or on larger branches. Perichaetia on main axis, to 2.5 mm long in a short cluster smaller than the subtending vegetative leaves, Perichaetial bracts ecostate or with a short costa, acuminate from a lanceolate base, cells rectangular, to 15:1. Seta to 3 cm long, exserted, abruptly bent at apex. Capsule brown, symmetric, inclined to pendent, not distorted or sulcate when dry. Urn to 2.0 mm, about 2–3:1. Exothecial cells 2–3:1, to 25 µm wide, thick-walled with a lumen/wall ratio about 4:1, stomata restricted to neck. Operculum rostrate, about 1/3 as long as urn. Exostome horizontally striate below, becoming smooth to low papillose above, yellow-brown. Endostome segments lightly papillose, open on keel, narrow, about as long as exostome with basal membrane about 1/4 of total length. Cilia 2–3, well-developed. Spores low papillose, 10–12 µm.

This moss is endemic to the humid forests of the west coast of North America. It primarily grows on mineral soil and on tree bases, often in areas of very low light intensity. It may be our most glossy moss -- often falsely seeming to glow in low light intensity. It it blunt and coarsely toothed, costate leaves, short leaf cells and complanate habit will effectively identify it.

Mail a correction to Paul Wilson ·
LiteratureBourell 1981; Frantz and Cordone 1967; Holmberg 1969; Jamieson 1969; Showers 1982; Yurky 1990, 1995. As Hypnum bigelovii Lesquereux 1868; Sullivant 1856; Watson 1880. As Porothamnium bigelovii Bradshaw 1926; Kellman 2003; Koch 1950a, 1951e; Koch and Ikenberry 1954; Lawton 1971; Smith 1970; Spjut 1971; Steere et al. 1954; Thomson and Ketchledge 1958.
IllustrationsMalcolm et al. 2009 p. 309; Lawton 1971; Schofield and Thompson 1966; Sullivant 1856.
BioregionsCaR, CW, NW, SN, SW.
VouchersDel Norte Co.: Highway 199 about 9 miles east of junction with Highway 101, Six Rivers National Forest, Norris 84993; El Dorado Co.: Bear Creek Picnic Area southeast of Georgetown, Eldorado National Forest, Norris & Piippo 82323; Lake Co.: Alder Creek, Cobb Mountain, Toren & Dearing 7087 (CAS); Mendocino Co.: seaward bluffs near Ranger Station, Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, Norris 71743; San Francisco Co.: Delaveaga Dell, AIDS Memorial Grove, Golden Gate Park, Hermann 17451 and Shevock 19526; Santa Barbara Co.: Lobos Canyon, Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, Shevock & Rodriquez 20852; Tulare Co.: Lake Canyon Creek below Oriole Lake, Sequoia National Park, Shevock 17617.
   

Elevation by latitude plot for Porotrichum bigelovii
   in California

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