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Published In: Bericht über die Thätigkeit der St. Gallischen Naturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft 1873–74: 119 (Gen. Sp. Musc. 1: 581). 1875. (Ber. Thätigk. St. Gallischen Naturwiss. Ges.) Name publication detail

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Brachymenium spirifolium is a medium-sized species with spirally twisted leaves when dry that give it an aspect nearly identical to B. consimile or B. radiculosum. These species differ from B. spirifolium in having more strongly bordered, distinctly serrulate to denticulate, spathulate leaves.

Although Ochi (1980, 1994) saw only juvenile capsules of B. spirifolium he placed the species in section Rostrata, which characteristically has long-beaked opercula and peristomes with linear exostome teeth and moderately developed endostome segments. The above sporophytic description (from Conrad 3272, MO) confirms this placement. It differs from other regional members of the section in having strongly spirally twisted leaves and moderately large spores.

Illustrations: Sharp et al. (1995, 376 f–h). Figure 136 F–I.
Habitat: On rock and soil; 120–700 m.
Distribution in Central America: BELIZE. Toledo: Allen 18761 (MO). NICARAGUA. Chontales: Stevens 22430 (MICH, MO); Estelí: Stevens 2638 (MO); Managua: Stevens 14916 (MO).
World Range: Mexico; Central America.


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Brachymenium spirifolium (C. Müll.) Jaeg., Ber. Thätigk. St. Gallischen Naturwiss. Ges. 1873–74: 119. 1875.

Bryum spirifolium C. Müll., Linnaea 38: 623. 1874. Protologue: Mexico. Ad arborum radices ad ripas fluminis Rio blanco prope Orizaba, inter Bryum subcapillifolium vigens: C. Mohr 1857. 

Plants medium-sized, bright-green to yellowish green above, reddish at base, in dense, shiny tufts. Stems to 15 mm long, epidermal cells rectangular, densely tomentose at base; rhizoids reddish brown, papillose. Leaves in crowded, rosulate tufts, 2–3 mm long, erect-flexuose, spirally contorted when dry, spreading when wet, concave, elongate-oblong; apices short acuminate, ending in a smooth or toothed, hyaline to yellow hair-point; margins bordered below by 2–3 rows of linear, thick-walled cells, entire below, obscurely and finely serrulate above, plane above, narrowly revolute below; costa yellowish, tapering to apex, long-excurrent, ventral superficial cells at base quadrate to rectangular; cells firm-walled throughout, upper cells hexagonal, 30–50 x 14–18 μm, basal cells long-rectangular, 30–60 x 20 μm. Dioicous. Setae 15–25 mm long, red. Capsules 3–4 mm long, cylindrical, constricted at neck, erect to suberect; opercula 0.5–0.75 mm long, high-conic and obliquely beaked; annuli compound, revoluble; exostome teeth linear, separate at base, reddish yellow below, whitish above, densely papillose, endostome whitish, papillose, basal membrane to ½ the exostome teeth length, segments rudimentary to moderately developed, linear, with narrow perforation gaps, cilia rudimentary to absent. Spores 30–40 μm, oblong, lightly papillose. Calyptrae 3 mm long, cucullate, yellow, smooth.


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