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Published In: Icones Plantarum 1: pl. 19: f. 3. 1836. (Icon. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

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Brachymenium acuminatum is distinguished by its very small size, percurrent to shortly excurrent costa, and lax leaf cells that are elongate above and weakly differentiated at the basal angles. The only other Central American species with which it can be confused is B. exile which differs in having shorter, firm-walled leaf cells, numerous quadrate alar cells, a stoutly excurrent costa, and leaves bordered by short, rectangular cells. Brachymenium fabronioides (C. Müll.) Par occurs in Mexico and should also be in Central America. Both species have elongate, thin-walled upper leaf cells, but B. fabronioides differs from B. acuminatum in having leaves more deltoid at base and a stoutly excurrent costa.

Collections of B. acuminatum that lack sporophytes are difficult to place in Brachymenium because of their weakly developed alar cells and short costae. These collections have the gametophytic aspect of Anomobryum, but members of that genus have generally longer, thicker-walled leaf cells. Bryum leptocladon and B. apiculatum are also gametophytically similar to Brachymenium acuminatum. The first species however differs from it in having reddish stems and lower leaf cells, elongate stem epidermal cells, and shorter, firm-walled upper leaf cells. Bryum apiculatum is a larger plant (leaves 1–2 mm long) than Brachymenium acuminatum and has reddish stems and lower leaf cells.

Ochi (1994) included the “Pacific Islands” in a range report of Brachymenium acuminatum, but did not cite any specimens from that region.

Illustrations: Hooker (1836, Tab. 19, Fig. 3); Bartram (1931, Figs. 13–19); Ochi (1970, Fig. 2); Ochi (1972, Fig. 1); Gangulee (1974, Fig. 457); Magill (1987, Fig. 97 12–21);  Ochi (1980, Fig. 1); Sharp et al. (1994, Fig. 372). Figure 127.
Habitat: On soil; 600–1100 m.
Distribution in Central America: GUATEMALA. Jalapa: Standley 76785 (FH). EL SALVADOR. Ahuachapán: Standley & Padilla 2577 (F, FH). NICARAGUA. Managua: Stevens 4011 (MO). COSTA RICA. Alajuela: Valerio 100 (FH); Cartago: Valerio 339 (FH); Guanacaste: McQueen 5056 (MO).
World Range: Mexico; Central America; Caribbean, Western and Southern South America, Brazil; West, Northeast, West-Central, East, and South Tropical Africa, Southern Africa, Western Indian Ocean; China; Indian Subcontinent, Indo-China, Malesia; Australia.


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Brachymenium acuminatum Harv. in Hook., Icon. Pl. 1: 19. 1836.

Protologue: East Indies, Harvey.

Brachymenium filescens Bartr., J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 21: 292. 1931. Protologue: Costa Rica. Province of Alajuela, Cebadilla, alt. 700 m., Nov. 14, 1928, Valerio 209 (FH, US). 

Plants minute, yellow-green, gregarious or in loose tufts. Stems slender, 2–10 mm long, epidermal cells quadrate, sparsely tomentose at base; rhizoids sparse at base, reddish brown, papillose roughened. Leaves 0.5–0.8 mm long, stiffly erect-appressed to imbricate when dry, concave, ovate to ovate-lanceolate; apices shortly acuminate; margins weakly bordered by long, narrow cells, entire, erect above, slightly reflexed below; costa percurrent to shortly excurrent, ventral superficial cells at base quadrate to rectangular; leaf cells lax and thin-walled throughout, upper cells elongate-rhomboidal, 40–90 x 10 μm, alar cells short-rectangular, 20–30 x 16–20 μm. Dioicous. Setae 10–30 mm long, red. Capsules 1.5–2.0 mm long, red, claviform to elongate-pyriform, constricted at neck, erect; opercula 0.3–0.5 mm long, conic; annuli compound, revoluble; exostome teeth reddish brown, thickly papillose, endostome yellowish, basal membrane to ½ the exostome teeth length, segments rudimentary to absent, cilia rudimentary to absent. Spores 10–14 μm, smooth to obscurely roughened. Calyptra not seen.



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