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Published In: Bryologia Universa 2: 15–28, pl. 6, f. 5. 1827. (Bryol. Univ.) Name publication detail

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Acceptance : Accepted
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Within the Bartramiaceae Philonotis is marked by its small size, leaves that are variously erect to appressed when dry, but neither sheathing nor plicate at base, and subreniform spores. The sporophyte of Philonotis is quite variable. Its capsules can be erect or subpendent, ovoid or subglobose, have thin- or thick-walled exothecial cells and be smooth, rugose or strongly furrowed when dry. Its peristome can be absent or vary from a fully developed diplolepidous structure to a rudimentary one. When its exostome teeth are fully developed they have a form typical for the family: teeth narrowly triangular, dorsal surface below the tips densely and evenly ornamented by low papillae, ventral surface smooth, dorsal trabeculae delicate, weakly thickened, ventral trabeculae stout, strongly thickened. When its endostome is well-developed Philonotis has the odd, characteristic endostome structure of the Bartramiaceae.

Important gametophytic characters in the taxonomy of Philonotis include perigonial form, sexuality, the position of papillae over the cell lumina, leaf margin stance, costal length, and branching pattern. Sexuality and perigonial form are characters of sectional importance. Section Philonotis consists of dioicous mosses with enlarged and discoid perigonia, while section Philonotula can be dioicous, synoicous, or autoicous with smaller, gemmiform perigonia. Papillae position, leaf marginal stance, and costal length are important characters at the species level, and unfortunately they tend to be quite variable. Papillae position is perhaps the most important of these species level characters. The papillae can be projecting from the upper ends of the cells, the lower ends of the cells, from the center of the lumen or nearly smooth. As a rule those species with papillae projecting only from the upper cell ends have this character strongly and stably expressed. Those species with papillae from the lower ends of the cells are wildly variable in the expression of this feature. Frequently it is only the lower to median leaf cells that have papillae projecting from the lower ends, while the upper cells have papillae projecting from the upper ends. Costa length varies from subpercurrent to percurrent to variously excurrent. In general the value of this feature lies in distinguishing the subpercurrent/percurrent/short excurrent forms from the long excurrent forms. In this respect it is helpful to note that the long excurrent forms are spinose on the excurrent part of the costa while the short excurrent forms are smooth to weakly toothed. All species of Philonotis branch sparsely and irregularly, but most species also have the tendency to have whorls of branches below the terminal perichaetia.

Philonotis is closely related to Breutelia, and although the two genera are generally easy to distinguish due to the larger size of Breutelia, technically, they are difficult to separate. Sporophytically, the genera are identical; gametophytically, only the larger size, generally narrower and longer leaf cells, consistently plicate leaf bases and more strongly differentiated alar cells of Breutelia separate the two genera. However, Philonotis approximates Breutelia in all of these features.


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Philonotis Brid., Bryol. Univ. 2: 15. 1827.

Bartramidula Bruch & Schimp. in B.S.G., Bryol. Eur. 4: 55. 1846.

Plants small, delicate to medium, or robust, green, yellow-green, or glaucous, dull or shiny. Stems mostly erect to loosely ascending, sometimes prostrate, hyalodermis and central strand present, branching sparse and irregular, or with subfloral whorls, moderately to heavily tomentose; rhizoids smooth to lightly papillose. Leaves appressed, erect, erect-spreading or wide-spreading, straight or secund, closely or distantly spaced, lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, narrowly triangular-lanceolate, or oblong-lanceolate; margins narrowly revolute or plane, sharply or bluntly toothed; costa subpercurrent, percurrent, short- or long-excurrent; upper cells quadrate to linear, papillose or smooth, papillae usually projecting from the upper ends, occasionally from the lower ends or central, basal cells rectangular to quadrate, papillose over the upper ends, lower ends, or smooth, alar cells quadrate to rectangular. Dioicous, autoicous, or synoicous. Perigonia gemmiform or discoid. Perichaetial leaves larger and longer-pointed than vegetative leaves. Setae elongate. Capsules ovoid to subglobose, erect or inclined, furrowed, rugose or smooth when dry; exothecial cells short, thick- or thin-walled; stomata numerous at base; opercula conic to conic-mammillate; peristome absent, rudimentary or double, exostome teeth 16, narrowly triangular, dorsal surface finely papillose below, coarsely papillose near tips, trabeculae thin, ventral surface smooth, trabeculae at base very thick, endostome segments nearly as long as the exostome, yellowish, finely papillose granulose below, each segment split along the median line and each half diverging toward the cilia, cilia 3-4, well-developed. Spores ovoid or subreniform, papillose. 



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