Bryophytes (Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts) •

Myurella Moss

(Myurella julacea)



Myurella julacea This minute moss has shoots only about 1.5 cm long and less than 0.5 mm wide. Fresh shoots are smoothly cylindrical, wiry, branched, and silvery blue-green. The tiny, round leaves (about 0.4-0.5 mm long) are concave and usually have a blunt tip, giving shoots a slightly swollen appearance despite their minute size. M. julacea is variable, and some forms have a thin, straight leaf tip. Whether dry or moist, the leaves lie appressed to the stem. The nerve is short or absent. Capsules are rare, and develop in summer. The much rarer M. tenerrima (Smith, p. 863) is pale green or yellowish, and hence less glaucous. The leaves of M. tenerrima have a reflexed tip, and when moist they clasp the stems rather less closely than those of M. julacea. M. tenerrima also tends to form larger patches than M. julacea, and is typically a species of dry, base-rich soil near mica-schist rock on east- or south-facing cliffs above 600 m altitude. Anomobryum julaceum (p. 579) and Plagiobryum zieri (p. 578) somewhat resemble M. julacea, but their leaves are about twice as big (1 mm long). The liverworts Gymnomitrion (pp. 162-164) and Anthelia (p. 109) also have tiny, silvery grey shoots. Shoots of M. julacea usually grow amongst other bryophytes or as small, pure patches on base-rich soil amongst rocks or in crevices on mountains. It is seldom present in much quantity.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Bryophyta
Class: Bryopsida
News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day