Bryophytes (Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts) •

Serrate Ptychomitrium Moss

(Ptychomitrium serratum)



Plants medium-sized, tufted or cespitose, glossy, dark green. Stems erect or repent, to 1.5 cm. Leaves crispate when dry, broadly acute to acuminate, 3-4 mm; margins coarsely serrate distally, erect or irregularly recurved proximally; apex plane or with erect margins but not cucullate. Specialized asexual reproduction absent. Seta 1(-4) per perichaetium, 3-4 mm. Capsule cylindric, 2-2.4 mm, smooth to slightly or prominently wrinkled or ribbed when dry; peristome teeth divided into filiform segments, densely papillose. Calyptra lobes less than 1/2 length of calyptra. Capsules mature Mar-Apr, Dec. Calcareous rock and concrete in forests; low to high elevations (0-2200 m); La., S.C., Tex.; Mexico; West Indies (Dominican Republic). Ptychomitrium serratum grows in dark conspicuous tufts or cushions on basic rocks and concrete. Its habitat, size, prominently serrate leaf margins, and plane leaf tips make it easy to recognize. It is somewhat similar to P. gardneri but plants of the latter are much larger; the two species do not co-occur. This moss has been collected repeatedly in Texas, mostly in Culberson Co., in the Guadalupe Mountains, especially in McKittrick Canyon. It has also been found in central and southern Louisiana, at one site in South Carolina, and at a few sites in central and eastern Texas. Most of the specimens from Louisiana, South Carolina, and eastern Texas were taken from man-made calcareous substrates (concrete), but one colony from Louisiana grew on an old asphalt shingle roof.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Bryophyta
Class: Bryopsida
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