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Published In: Öfversigt af Förhandlingar: Kongl. Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademien 20(7): 392. 1863. (Öfvers. Förh. Kongl. Svenska Vetensk.-Akad.) Name publication detail

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Conostomum tetragonum has a glaucous-green color and densely prorate upper leaf cells. It is distinguished from all other Central American species of the Bartramiaceae by its small, stiffly erect leaves that occur in five spiral rows, and conic-rostrate opercula. From other members of Conostomum the species is distinguished by its hair-pointed leaves, costa that is narrow at base and excurrent above, papillose upper leaf cells, and sharply serrate upper leaf margins.

This species was originally reported from Central America (Bowers 1970) as C. pentastichum, and this is the name it is usually given in the Southern Hemisphere. Frahm et al. (1996a), recently synonymized it with the widespread arctic-alpine C. tetragonum.

Illustrations: Nyholm (1960, Fig. 166); Smith (1978, Fig. 225); Crum and Anderson (1981, Fig. 304); Magill (1987, Fig. 119); Noguchi (1989, Fig. 249 A); Sharp et al. (1994, Fig. 407); Churchill and Linares (1995, Fig. 12 a–e); Frahm et al. (1996a, Fig. 7); Nyholm (1998, Fig. 216). Fig. 201 G–J.
Habitat: On soil in páramo; 3500 m.
Distribution in Central America: COSTA RICA. San José: Bowers 67-858-c (US).
World Range: Subarctic America, Western and Eastern Canada,  Northwestern and Northeastern U.S.A.; Mexico; Central America; Western, Northern, and Southern South America, Brazil; Subantarctic Islands; Northern, East, Middle, Southwestern, and Southeastern Europe; Siberia, Russian Far East, Eastern Asia; Southern Africa; Australasia.


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Conostomum tetragonum (Hedw.) Lindb., Öfvers. Förh. Kongl. Svenska Vetensk.-Akad. 20: 392. 1863. Mnium tetragonum Hedw., Sp. Musc. Frond. 73. 1801. Protologue: Great Britain. Locus in paludosis Scotiae, Cambriae, Angliae. Lectotype (Frahm et al. 1996a) in alpibus scoticis, Ben Lomond, Dickson s.n. (BM).

Bartramia pentasticha Brid., Muscol. Recent. 2(3): 134. 1803. Conostomum pentastichum (Brid.) Lindb., Öfvers. Förh. Kongl. Svenska Vetensk.-Akad. 20: 392. 1863. Protologue: Chile. In freto Magellanico, unde a Commersono relata est mihique a cel. Iussieu communicata, habitat. Lectotype (Frahm et al. 1996a) In freto Magellanico, unde a Commersono relata est mihique a I. Iussieu communicata, habitat (B). 

Plants small, in dense tufts, green to glaucous-green above, red-brown below, to 1.5 cm high. Stems red, not or sparsely branched, hyalodermis and central strand present, moderately tomentose at base; rhizoids reddish brown, smooth; axillary hairs three-celled, basal cell short-rectangular, apical cell elongate. Leaves 0.8–1.4 mm long, imbricate-appressed in 5 spirally twisted rows when dry, erect when wet, lanceolate; apices narrowly acuminate and hair-pointed; upper margins revolute, coarsely double serrate, lower margins plane, smooth; costae excurrent, spinose at back in upper part of leaf; upper cells unistratose, short-rectangular to elliptic, firm and straight-walled, densely papillose at upper ends, 20–47 x 7.5–10 μm, lower cells long- or short-rectangular, firm- and straight-walled, smooth, 25–63 x 7–10 μm, alar region with a few quadrate cells at the margins and 1–2 enlarged and bulging cells at extreme alar angles. Autoicous or dioicous. Setae 5 mm long, red. Capsules winkled, nodding, ovoid, 2 mm long; opercula conic-rostrate, to 0.5 mm; peristome single, teeth red. Spores reniform to subellipsoidal, warty-papillose, 40–50 μm. Calyptrae cucullate.


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