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Published In: Bryologia Britannicae 219. 1855. (Bryol. Brit.) Name publication detail

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Leptobryum is a genus of six species (Crosby et al. 2000), five of which are narrowly distributed in South America or Australia. Our species, L. pyriforme, is cosmopolitan.  Leptobryum is gametophytically variable, e.g., L. wilsonii (Mitt.) Broth has gametophytes very similar to some Pohlia species (Crum 1994b), while L. pyriforme has slenderly lanceolate to setaceous leaves that strongly clasp at base. The shiny, pyriform capsules of  Leptobryum that have long slender necks are very distinctive, although its perfect diplolepidous peristome is identical to those found in many other members of the Bryaceae. On the basis of nuclear and chloroplast DNA evidence (see Hedderson et al. 1997), Leptobryum was recently transferred to the Meesiaceae (Buck & Goffinet 2000).


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Leptobryum (Bruch & Schimp. in B.S.G.) Wils., Bryol. Brit. 219.1855.

Bryum subg. Leptobryum Bruch & Schimp. in B.S.G., Bryol. Eur. 4: 1. 1851.

Plants small, slender, pale green, in erect, dense or loose, laxly foliate tufts. Tubers often present on rhizoids. Lower leaves erect‑spreading from insertion, lanceolate; upper leaves abruptly larger and strongly clasping, flexuose when dry, long‑subulate to setaceous from a broad, oblong base, not decurrent; apices acuminate; margins plane, entire below, serrulate above; cells smooth, long‑rectangular below, long‑linear above; costa strong, filling most of the subula, subpercurrent to excurrent. Setae terminal, elongate, flexuose. Capsules pyriform, pendent, neck long and narrow; stomata superficial; opercula conic, mammillate; annuli revoluble; peristome double, exostome teeth 16, lanceolate, papillose, yellow to brown, endostome hyaline, lightly papillose, basal membrane well‑developed, segments keeled and perforate, cilia 1–3, appendiculate, rudimentary or absent. Spores spherical, lightly papillose. Calyptrae cucullate, naked.

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