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Published In: Bryologia Universa 2: 18. 1827. (Bryol. Univ.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 3/7/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project data     (Last Modified On 3/7/2011)

Philonotis fontana is a widespread Northern Hemispheric species that reaches the southern extent of its New World range in Central America. It is a medium to large sized species that differs from all other Central American species, except P. capillaris and P. cernua, in having papillae projecting from the lower ends of the median and basal leaf cells. Philonotis capillaris differs from P. fontana in its smaller size and in having narrower, lanceolate leaves. Philonotis cernua differs from P. fontana in its synoicous sexual condition, plane leaf margins, and percurrent costae.

Central American collections of P. fontana have papillae from the upper ends of the apical leaf cells on both the inner and outer surfaces. In contrast, Zales (1973) and Crum and Anderson (1981) reported only the apical cells of the inner surface as having papillae at the upper end, while Griffin (1994) gave all the leaf cells of this species as papillose below. There are two

endemic Mexican species (P. buckii Griffin and P. sharpiana Griffin & Buck) that have variably papillose leaf cells. However, according to their original descriptions, in these two species the leaf cell papillae vary depending on whether they are from the inner or outer leaf surfaces rather than from the upper or lower leaf cells. In P. buckii, the leaf cells are papillose at the lower ends on the inner leaf surface and from the upper ends on the outer leaf surface while in P. sharpiana the leaf cells are papillose at the upper ends on the inner leaf surface and from the lower ends on the outer leaf surface. Griffin’s (1994) description and discussion on papillae position in P. buckii apparently confuses upper and lower leaf cells with inner and outer leaf surfaces. Philonotis fontana further differs from these two species in having longer leaves (1.4–2.1 mm long vs 1.2–1.3 mm long).

Illustrations: Bruch and Schimper (1842, Pl. 324); Husnot (1890, Tab. 74); Dixon and Jameson (1896, Pl. 40 J); Grout (1906, Fig. 103); Mönkemeyer (1927, Fig. 121); Flowers (1935, Pl. 70 A); Nyholm (1960, Fig. 171 A); Abramova et al. (1961, Pl. 200 9–11); Lawton (1971, Pl. 116); Flowers (1973, Pl. 68 14–21, Pl. 69 1–13); Zales (1973, Fig. 60); Gangulee (1974, Figs. 541 & 542); Smith (1978, Fig. 223 1–6); Crum and Anderson (1981, Fig. 310); Ireland (1982, Pl. 212); Li (1985, Pl. 98 8–12); Noguchi (1989, Fig. 253); Sharp et al. (1994, Fig. 421); Jóhannsson (1995, Pl. 70); Allen (1999a, Fig. 2 E–H). Fig. 204 E–H.
Habitat: On wet limestone; 3261 m.
Distribution in Central America: GUATEMALA. Chimaltenango: Godman & Salvin (NY); Huehuetenango: Sharp 5012 (F, MO, NY). PANAMA. Chiriquí: D’Arcy 5380D (MO).
World Range: Subarctic America, Western and Northern Canada, Northwestern, North-Central, Northeastern, Southwestern, South-Central, and Southeastern U.S.A.; Mexico; Central America; Northern, East, Southwestern, Middle, and Southeastern Europe; Siberia, Russian Far East, Caucasus, Middle Asia, Mongolia, China, Eastern Asia, Western Asia; Macaronesia, Middle Atlantic Ocean, Northern Africa, Northeast, West-Central, and East Tropical Africa; Indian Subcontinent.


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Philonotis fontana (Hedw.) Brid., Bryol. Univ. 2: 18. 1827.

Mnium fontanum Hedw., Sp. Musc. Frond. 195. 1801. Bartramia fontana (Hedw.) Turn., Muscol. Hibern. Spic. 107. 1804. Protologue: Locis paludosis apertis spongiosis. Maio et Junio sporangia maturat. Perenne.

Plants medium to large-sized,  in dense yellowish green or green, glossy tufts, to 80 mm high. Stems red, densely tomentose below; rhizoids reddish brown, smooth. Leaves 1.4–2.1 mm long, moderately spaced, erect to erect-spreading when dry, erect-spreading when wet, straight or secund, ovate-lanceolate; apices slenderly long-acuminate; margins narrowly revolute, jugate, singly or doubly serrate; costa long-excurrent; cells papillose, papillae at lower cell ends on median and basal cells, papillae at upper cell ends on apical cells, upper cells sublinear, rectangular or oblong, firm‑walled, 12–38 x 5–7 μm, basal cells rectangular to subquadrate, 12–30 x 5–8 μm, alar cells quadrate in 2–3 rows. Microphyllous branches sometimes present in leaf axils. Dioicous. Perigonia discoid. Setae straight, 2–4 cm long. Capsules inclined, 2–4 mm long, ovoid to subglobose, furrowed when dry, striate when wet; exothecial cells short, thick-walled; opercula conic, 0.3–0.5 mm long; peristome double, exostome teeth narrowly triangular, to 500 μm, outer surface finely papillose below, coarsely papillose near tips, trabeculae thin, inner surface smooth, trabeculae thick, endostome nearly as long as the exostome, yellowish, finely papillose granulose below, segments split along the median line and each half diverging toward the cilia, cilia 3–4, well-developed. Spores ovoid or subreniform, 20–30 μm, coarsely papillose. [Sporophytes and gametangia unknown in Central America, description based on North American material.]



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