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Published In: Hedwigia 6(3): 40. 1867. (Hedwigia) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

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Philonotis capillaris is a slender, delicate species with erect leaves, long-excurrent costae, sharply serrate, revolute leaf margins, and numerous quadrate cells in the basal and alar leaf regions. Its apical leaf cells are papillose at the upper cell ends but the basal leaf cells, which are only faintly papillose, have papillae from both the lower and the upper cell ends as well as from the area between continuous cells. Philonotis fontana and P. cernua have a similar distribution of papillae. Philonotis cernua differs from P. capillaris in its synoicous sexual condition, plane leaf margins, and percurrent costae. Philonotis fontana differs from P. capillaris in its larger size and broader, ovate-lanceolate leaves. When the papillae of P. capillaris appear to be mostly from the upper cell ends, it can be confused with small forms of P. sphaericarpa. However, P. sphaericarpa has larger, usually broader leaves than P. capillaris and its basal leaf cells are more strongly papillose.

The European P. arnellii Husn. and P. capillaris have been considered conspecific by Dismier (1907, 1910), Brotherus (1923), and Mönkemeyer (1927). Philonotis capillaris is the older name, but P. arnellii continues to be used in Europe (Corley et al. 1981, Abramov & Volkova 1998)).

Philonotis bernoulii was considered a smaller, more delicate version of P. sphaericarpa (Bartram 1949, Griffin 1994). In this regard it fits well with my concept of P. capillaris. The type of P. bernoulii has not been examined since it was original described, but there is nothing in that description to rule out its synonymy with P. capillaris. Pending an examination of the type of P. bernoulii it is tentatively synonymized with P. capillaris.

Illustrations: Zales (1973, Fig. 57& 59); Smith (1978, Fig. 222 10–13, as P. arnellii); Crum and Anderson (1981, Fig. 309 A–C); Allen (1999a, Fig. 1 F–K). Fig. 203 A–E.
Habitat: On soil; 3000 m.
Distribution in Central America: PANAMA. Chiriquí: Davidse & D’Arcy 10330k (MO).
World Range: Subarctic America, Western and Eastern Canada, Northwestern, North-Central, Northeastern, Southwestern, and South-Central U.S.A.; Central America; North, Middle, East, Southwestern, Southeastern Europe; Russian Far East; Western Asia.


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Philonotis capillaris Lindb. ex Hartm., Handb. Skand. Fl. (ed. 10), 2: 46. 1871.

Protologue. Sweden. Stockh. vid Nacka, Petersberg, Drottningholm och Huddinge, vid jernvägen: Lindb.

Philonotis capillaris Lindb., Hedwigia 6: 40. 1867, nom. nud.

? Bartramia bernoullii C. Müll., Bull. Herb. Boissier 5: 187. 1897. Philonotis bernoullii (C. Müll.) Par. Index Bryol. Suppl. 265. 1900. Protologue: Guatemala. In rep. Guatemala s. loco speciali. No 61[Türckheim].

Philonotis macounii Lesq. & James, Man. Mosses N. America 208. 1884. Protologue: Canada. Vancouver Island. Lectotype (Zales 1973): Canadian Musci 152. On wet shaded rocks, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, Macoun (isolectotype MO).

Plants small, in loose, yellowish green or green tufts, to 5 mm high. Stems red; rhizoids at base, reddish brown, smooth to lightly roughened. Leaves 0.7–1.0 mm long, erect when dry, or erect to erect-spreading when wet, straight or secund, lanceolate; apices acuminate; margins narrowly revolute, doubly or singly serrate; costa long-excurrent; upper cells papillose at upper ends, rectangular to elongate, firm‑walled, 15–35 x 2.5–7 μm, basal cells weakly and faintly papillose, papillae from lower cell ends, upper cell ends or midway between contiguous cells, rectangular, to 45 x 7μm, alar cells quadrate. Dioicous. Perigonia and sporophytes not known in Central America. "... perigonia discoid. Setae 13–20 mm long; capsules 1.3–2 mm long. Spores 17–24 μm" (Crum & Anderson 1981).


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