Plants in loose to dense mats, green to gray green, usually with a reddish cast, irregularly to pinnately branched with branches and stems little different. Leafy stems to 10 cm long, somewhat julaceous when dry due to the appressed and concave leaves; moist stems with spreading to almost squarrose leaves. Leaves to 3 mm, about 3: 1, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, gradually contracted from the about the middle to the very long and flexuose hyaline awn. Margins recurved, at least near base, decurrent to base of next leaf, entire throughout. Median cells papillose with one or occasionally several high but mostly unbranched papillae, quadrate to short rectangular, to 8 µm wide, to 2: 1, with thick and pitted walls. Alar cells mostly smooth, isodiametric, with walls somewhat thicker and more pitted than those of adjacent laminal cells. Basal juxtacostal cells elongate, to 5: 1, often reddish, smooth, strongly pachydermous and pitted. Cells of awn very much elongate and hyaline. Costa absent. Pseudoparaphyllia linear to linear lanceolate, to 150 µm long, strongly dentate to seemingly lobed. Longest and most central axillary hairs 4 celled, to 100 µm with one basal brown cell, not offset from leaf insertion; lateral axillary hairs shorter and fewer celled. Stem cross-section without a central strand, relatively pachydermous throughout, with only gradual size reduction of the more peripheral cells. Rhizoids red brown to almost black, restricted to the prostrate base of plant, arising from axils of leaves, not at all fasciculate, to 15 µm in diameter, smooth and very thick walled, long but essentially unbranched.
Autoicous. Perichaetia about as long as the adjacent vegetative leaves with the bracts similar to those vegetative leaves. Seta to 10 mm long, erect, pale yellow to yellow. Urn elliptic, to 2 mm, about 2–3: 1, light brown, erect, symmetrical, not sulcate but often wrinkled when dry, broadest near the mouth and at the expanded ring-like base. Exothecial cells at mid urn short rectangular, 1.5–3: 1, in regular rows, markedly collenchymatous, to 25 µm broad. Cells in many horizontal rows at both the base and the mouth of the capsule with very thick and pigmented walls, smaller than the median exothecial cells and more consistently isodiametric. Stomata phaneroporous, restricted to the somewhat expanded neck. Annulus absent. Operculum conic, much shorter than urn, with isodiametric and thick walled cells to its apex. Peristome absent with exothecium inrolled at capsule mouth. Spores papillose, to 25 µm.
Pseudobraunia californica is endemic to western North America where it ranges from central coastal British Columbia to central California. It grows on exposed rock outcrops primarily in low to medium elevation forests east of the humid coastal zone. The key provides characters allowing it to be readily distinguished from the somewhat less common Hedwigia ciliata -- a plant often growing with Pseudobraunia.
|Literature||Bourell 1981; Bradshaw 1926; Harthill et al. 1979; Kellman 2003; Koch 1950a; Koch and Ikenberry 1954; Lawton 1971; Sigal 1975; Steere et al. 1954; Thomson and Ketchledge 1958; Toren 1977; Whittemore and Sommers 1999; Yurky 1990, 1995. As Braunia californica Howe 1897; Lesquereux 1868; Lesquereux and James 1884; Watson 1880.|
|Illustrations||Malcolm et al. 2009 p. 218; Brotherus 1924-25; Lawton 1971.|
|Bioregions||CaR, CW, GV, NW, SN.|
|Vouchers||Alameda Co.: Brushy Peak northeast of Livermore, Norris 87203; Calaveras Co.: Highway 4, 1.2 miles north of Copperopolis, Shevock 19327; Glenn Co.: west of town of Elk Creek along Ivory Mill Road, Mendocino National Forest, Shevock 15804; Monterey Co.: bluffs at the Pinnacles, Hunter-Leggett Military Reservation, Norris 87273; San Benito Co.: Pinnacles National Monument, J. T. Howell s.n. (UC); Siskiyou Co.: Soda Creek Road about 4 miles northeast of Interstate 5 near Dunsmuir, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Norris 84799; Tulare Co.: Elk Creek near Potwisha Campground, Middle Fork Kaweah River, Sequoia National Park, Shevock, Norris, & Barahona 13186.; Yuba Co.: Highway 2- near Timbuctoo, Norris 67491.|