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|Ulota phyllantha Bridel [Orthotrichaceae]|
Mail a correction to Paul Wilson
Musc. Recent. 4: 113. 1819.
Ulota maritima C. Muell. & Kindb. ex Mac. & Kindb., Cat. Can. Pl. 6: 84. 1892.
Plants erect in yellow-green to brownish-green tufts, to 4 cm high. Leaves erect spreading when moist but crispate when dry with the apices incurled and with the lamina often somewhat undulate. Leaves linear-lanceolate, broadened and concave near the base, narrowly acuminate at the apices, to 3 mm long, 5–7: 1. Median laminal cells isodiametric or short elliptic with rounded lumens, thick walled with strong corner thickenings, to 10 µm wide, mostly with 2 blunt papillae on each surface. Basal marginal cells narrowly rectangular, to 7 µm wide, 3–8: 1, mostly smooth. Basal juxtacostal cells mostly smooth, rectangular, 3–5: 1, with sinuose or pitted lateral walls. Margins recurved from base to near the leaf middle, papillose crenate. Costa percurrent to excurrent, in a rather poorly defined abaxial keel. Costa cross-section about 1.2–1.4: 1, essentially homogeneous, mostly 4 cells thick, and 10–14 cells wide along the abaxial perimeter. Centrally inserted axillary hairs to 4 cells (100 um) long but with the laterally inserted ones only 2-celled (40 um), without basal brown cells, not offset from leaf insertion. Rhizoids mostly near base of plant, smooth and thick-walled, red-brown, to 12 µm in diameter at base, sparingly branched. Stem cross-section rounded-pentagonal, without a central strand, with somewhat pachydermous and reddish inner corticals and with 1–2 layers of strongly pachydermous, red brown outer cortical cells. Gemmae usually abundant at the tips of the younger leaves, in spherical clusters radiating from a restricted area of insertion, red-brown when mature, uniseriate and up to 10 cells (150 um) long with the individual cells strongly pachydermous and often papillose.
Dioicous with male plants smaller and less abundant than female plants. Perichaetia terminal with the bracts nearly twice as long as the vegetative leaves. Capsule exserted on a yellow to yellow brown, smooth and erect seta of 4–5 mm in length. Urn orange-brown, to 2.5 mm long, about 3: 1, erect, sulcate with eight low ribs, not strangulate. Operculum conic-apiculate. Annulus well-defined, revoluble. Exothecial cells in cross-section unistratose with only the outer walls thickened. Exothecial cells at capsule mouth strongly reddened, to 12 µm long, isodiametric to transversely elongate with rounded lumens in up to 4 rows. Exothecial cells at middle of urn quadrate to rectangular, 1–1.5: 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 the neck, phaneroporous. Exostome teeth to 200 µm long, tardily reflexed when dry and old, initially fused in pairs but later separating, pale to almost white, finely and densely papillose. Endostome segments 8 but quickly deciduous, shorter than the exostome, smooth to very lightly papillose, arising from two rows of cells. Calyptra campanulate and fringed, with rather sparse, upwardly directed papillose hairs. Spores green, to 25 µm, papillose.
On a world basis, Ulota phyllantha is one of the few dioicous members of its genus, and sporophytes are accordingly very rarely produced. It is, however, almost always recognisable by the very obvious spherical clusters of red-brown gemmae inserted on the apices of the youngest leaves. There is a periodicity of growth in the species in California, and young, gemmiparous leaves may be somewhat difficult to find from December to March. Even when gemmae are not seen, many of the older leaves show the site of previous gemma placement -- a mucronate tip occupied by an excurrent costa.
Elk Prairie Trail, PCSP
Big French Ck. Trinity Co.
Jolly Giant Creek
|Literature||Koch 1949a, 1950a.|
|Illustrations||Malcolm et al. 2009 p. 215; Ireland 1982; Lawton 1971; Smith 1978.|
|Vouchers||Del Norte Co.: Kellogg Beach State Park at end of Pala Road west of Smith River, Norris 75029; Humboldt Co.: College Cove about 2 miles north of Trinidad, Norris 23621, Ten Taypo Trail, Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, Norris 56767, and near Abalone Point, Patrick's Point State Park, Norris 23880; Marin Co.: coastal Headlands at Point Reyes Lighthouse, Point Reyes National Seashore, Robertson 1144 (UC) and Pierce Point Road, Point Reyes National Seashore, Robertson 1920 (CAS); Mendocino Co.: Inglenook Fen north of Fort Bragg, Norris 23433 and Norris 68777.|
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