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Published In: Species Muscorum Frondosorum, Supplementum Secundum (2,2): 123–125, pl. 188. 1827. (Sp. Musc. Frond., Suppl. 2) Name publication detail

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Project data     (Last Modified On 2/22/2011)

Orthodontium is a small, slender moss with long, narrow, unbordered leaves, linear leaf cells, and erect, sometimes sulcate, capsules with strongly reduced, diplolepidous peristomes. In size and aspect it resembles Dicranella or Leptobryum. These genera differ from Orthodontium in peristome form: Dicranella has a haplolepidous peristome while Leptobryum has a perfect diplolepidous peristome. Rhabdoweisia is similar to Orthodontium in size and in having erect, furrowed capsules, but it too has a haplolepidous peristome. The reduced peristome of Orthodontium seems to relate it to other reduced peristome members of the Bryaceae (e.g., Mielichhoferia or Schizymenium). It differs from that group in having narrower leaves. Buck and Goffinet (2000) placed Orthodontium in its own family. Their statement that the genus lacks an annulus is in error; Orthodontium has a rudimentary annulus of 2–3 rows of cells that cling to capsule mouth after dehiscence. Orthodontium was monographed by Meijer (1951).


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Orthodontium Schwaegr., Sp. Musc. Frond., Suppl. 2(2)2: 123. 1827.

Apalodium Mitt., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 12: 238. 1869.

Stableria Lindb. ex Braithw., Brit. Moss. Fl. 2: 140. 1890. 

Plants small in erect, dense or loose tufts; stems simple or forked, central strand present or absent. Leaves erect‑spreading to spreading when wet, flexuose and twisted when dry, linear-lanceolate or setaceous; apices acute or acuminate; margins plane or weakly recurved below, entire to serrulate near apex; costa strong, percurrent, stereid cells present or absent; cells smooth, thin‑ or firm‑walled, linear to linear-rhomboidal above, lax, oblong-rhomboidal below. Paroicous or autoicous. Setae elongate, straight or flexuose. Capsules subcylindrical to ovoid, erect, symmetric, smooth, neck well-developed; stomata superficial; opercula obliquely rostrate; annuli rudimentary and persistent; peristome double, exostome teeth16, inserted within mouth, linear, smooth or weakly papillose, yellow to orange-yellow, endostome yellow, smooth to lightly papillose, basal membrane rudimentary to short, segments not keeled or perforate, cilia absent. Spores spherical, papillose or papillose-warty. Calyptrae cucullate.


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