Claopodium (Lesquereux & T. P. James) Renauld & Cardot, 1893.

Claopodium whippleanum, photo by Wilson

The many representatives of the Leskeaceae are usually recognized by the unusual feature of strongly catenulate arrangement of the dry leaves. Claopodium is one of the few local pleurocarpous mosses whose median laminal cells are strongly papillose, a feature recognizable in the field by the opaque appearance of the golden-green plant.

Key to Claopodium Etc.

Here we treat pleurocarpous mosses with somewhat elongate but papillose cells. The plants are prostrate on soil or they make mats or pendent streamers on trees.

Species included in this key are in Leskeaceae, except Meteorium (Meteoriaceae):
Claopodium bolanderi Best
Claopodium crispifolium (W. J. Hooker) Renauld & Cardot
Claopodium whippleanum (Sullivant) Renauld & Cardot
Meteorium nigrescens (Swartz ex Hedwig) Dozy & Molkenboer, not known from CA

Hand-lens inspection of any of our three species of Claopodium will show the signal character of a strongly color-differentiated, whitish costa that is usually somewhat sinuose. Claopodium bolanderi and C. crispifolium are difficult to distinguish in the field, but the third species (C. whippleanum) is readily recognized by its less pinnate growth pattern, and by its lack of hyaline awns.

A. Leaves without hyaline awns, but sometimes with the apex very narrow and occasionally uniseriate .....B
A. Leaves with hyaline, more or less flexuose awns .....C

B. Median cells seriate-papillose; base of leaf strongly cordate-auriculate; older parts of plant mostly blackened .....Meteorium: M. nigrescens not known from CA
B. Median cells unipapillose; base of leaf rounded but not cordate; plant green to golden-green .....Claopodium whippleanum

C. Median cells unipapillose; hyaline awn flexed outward on moist plant .....Claopodium crispifolium
C. Median cells pluripapillose; hyaline awn flexed into the clone of a moist plant .....Claopodium bolanderi