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Published In: Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien, Zweite Auflage 10: 261. 1924. (Nat. Pflanzenfam. (ed. 2)) Name publication detail

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Pseudosymblepharis has stems with a well-developed hyalodermis, but a poorly developed central strand. Its leaves are long, linear above, often broad and clasping at base and have distinctly different upper and lower leaf cells. The basal leaf cells also can be dimorphic with those near the costa at the top of the sheath thick-walled and porose, but enlarged, thin-walled, and hyaline at the margins. Conversely, some species have basal leaf cells thin-walled and bulging throughout. All species in the genus have hyaline cells that run up the basal margin in a v-shaped pattern, but the feature varies from weakly developed to up to 2/3 the leaf length. Sporophytically the genus has 16, short, usually erect peristome teeth on a weakly developed basal membrane. Zander (1993) placed Pseudosymblepharis in the subfamily Chionolomioideae which is characterized by large plants with long, linear leaves that have sheathing bases, plane margins, and two costal stereid bands with the ventral one larger than the dorsal.

The genus is very close to Trichostomum and Tortella. Trichostomum has a peristome  similar to Pseudosymblepharis but differs in having usually shorter, broader leaves that are less spirally contorted when dry, not or weakly clasping at base, and poorly developed basal leaf limbidia. There are, however, some species of Pseudosymblepharis  with erect-appressed leaf bases similar to those seen in Trichostomum. Tortella differs from Pseudosymblepharis in having a long, spirally twisted peristome from a well-developed basal membrane and generally shorter leaves. However, sterile collections of Tortella tortuosa are nearly indistinguishable from P. guatemalensis and there are some cleistocarpous species of Tortella.  Zander (1993, p. 101) suggests that Trichostomum, Tortella, and Pseudosymblepharis may represent a single genus. The genus Pseudosymblepharis has been reviewed in Central America by Crum (1952).


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Pseudosymblepharis Broth., Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 10: 261. 1924. 

Plants small, medium-sized, or robust, yellow-green to dark-green, in tufts or cushions. Stems red, erect, sparsely and irregularly branched, hyalodermis present, central strand weakly developed or absent; rhizoids moderately developed, reddish brown, smooth. Leaves erect, variously clasping at base, incurved, spirally twisted and contorted, tubulose above when dry, spreading when wet; apices acuminate; laminae unistratose, fragile and often broken or eroded above; margins entire to weakly denticulate above, plane; costa percurrent to short excurrent, guide cells and two stereid bands present, the dorsal usually larger than the ventral stereid band, ventral surface layer enlarged; upper cells sub-quadrate to short-rectangular, firm-walled, pluripapillose, basal cells enlarged, rectangular, thin-walled, bulging, hyaline, smooth, those near costa and junction of the sheath and limb at times thick-walled and porose, outer cells usually running up the margins in a v-shaped pattern, up to 1/2–2/3 the leaf length, alar cells not differentiated. Dioicous. Perichaetia and perigonia terminal; perichaetial leaves weakly differentiated. Setae elongate, smooth, spirally twisted. Capsules narrowly cylindrical; stomata in neck; opercula erect-rostrate; annuli well-developed; peristome teeth 16, short, erect or weakly twisted, spiculose. Calyptrae cucullate.


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