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Published In: Species Muscorum Frondosorum 181–182. 1801. (Sp. Musc. Frond.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 2/22/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
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Bryum argenteum is a common, weedy species with an attractive silvery‑green color. Its is often associated with disturbed, anthropogenic habitats. In Central America it also occurs in undisturbed sites at relatively high elevations. Its silver color is due to the absence of chlorophyll in the upper parts of the leaves. It has a perfect peristome, strongly differentiated exothecial cells at the capsule mouth and short, julaceous stems that grow in dense, tight mats. Bryum insolitum Card. differs from it only in having erect capsules.

Bryum argenteum is extremely variable in features such as capsule shape and size, setae length, costa length and leaf apex shape. Most Central American material belongs to the lanatum‑form which has long-piliform leaf apices and long-excurrent costae. It is a cosmopolitan species.

Illustrations: Dixon and Jameson (1896, Pl. 46); Grout (1906, Fig. 115); Brotherus (1924, Fig. 52 A–C); Thériot (1926, Figs. 11 & 12); Mönkemeyer (1927, Fig. 107 a); Bartram (1929a, Pl. 18 I–O); Bartram (1933, Fig. 90 a–e); Bartram (1939, Pl. 11 170); Bartram (1949, Fig. 76 D–G);  Nyholm (1958, Fig. 137); Abramova et al. (1961, Pl. 182 1–6); Breen (1963, Pl. 60 1–5); Ochi (1969, Fig. 44 A–L); Lawton (1971, Pl. 89 6–12); Flowers (1973, Pl. 83 7–11); Smith (1978, Fig. 201 1–6); Catcheside (1980, Fig. 159); Crum and Anderson (1981, Fig. 265 A–I); Ireland (1982, Pl. 184 1–9); Crum (1983, Fig. 60 d–h); Orbán and Vajda (1983, Fig. 383); Koponen and Norris (1984, Fig. 3 e–k); Reese (1984, Fig. 36 E–F); Li (1985, Pl. 75 9–12); Magill (1987, Fig. 103 14–20); Noguchi (1988, Fig. 213 a–h); Nyholm (1993, Fig. 188); Sharp et al (1994, Figs. 344 & 345e); Allen (1995, Fig. 2); Jóhannsson (1995, Fig. 110); Churchill and Linares (1995, Fig. 24 e–j). Figure 139.
Habitat: On dry, rocky banks, sandy soil, wet rocks, volcanic tuff, cement walls, between bricks in gardens, tree trunks, stumps, and burned wood; 780–3800 m.
Distribution in Central America: GUATEMALA. Alta Verapaz: Standley 71743 (F); Chiquimula: Steyermark 30611 (F); Guatemala: Standley 80716 (F); Huehuetenango: Steyermark 48928 (F, MO); Jalapa: Standley 77499 (F, NY); Jutiapa: Standley 75711 (NY); Quezaltenango: Steyermark 34626 (F); Quiché: Richards et al. 2999 (F); Sacatepéquez: Standley 58646 (F); San Marcos: Croat 40921 (MO); Santa Rosa: Standley 78248 (F, NY); Sololá: Richards et al. 3020 (F); Totonicapán: Smith & Nelson 779 (F). EL SALVADOR. Chalatenango: Sipman et al. 37664 (NY); Santa Ana: Watson ES‑0106 (MO); San Salvador: Flores JF‑00290 (MO). HONDURAS. Comayagua: Allen 10981 (MO, TEFH); Cortés: Allen 14142 (MO, TEFH); El Paraíso: Espinal 123 (MO); Francisco Morazán: Carlson 2624 (F, MO); La Paz: Allen 14564 (MO, TEFH); Lempira: Allen 11342 (MO, TEFH); Olancho: Allen 12602 (MO, TEFH); Santa Bárbara: Crosby 4090A (MO). NICARAGUA. Estelí: Stevens 10362 (MO); Granada: Miller et al. 1430 (MO); Jinotega: Standley 10067 (F); Matagalpa: Richards et al. 3672 (F, MO). COSTA RICA. Alajuela: Brenes 19375 (NY); Cartago: Quirós Calva 805 (F, NY); Puntarenas: Koch 4998 (NY); San José: Hammel & Aguilar 18568 (CR, MO). PANAMA. Chiriquí: Davidson 140 (F, MO, PMA).
World Range: Subarctic America, Western and Eastern Canada, Northwestern, North‑Central, Northeastern, Southwestern, South‑Central, and Southeastern U.S.A.; Mexico; Central America; Caribbean, Western, Northern, and Southern South America, Brazil; Northern, Southwestern, Middle, East, and Southeastern Europe; Caucasus, Middle Asia, Siberia, Russian Far East, Western Asia, Arabian Peninsula, China, Mongolia, Eastern Asia; Macaronesia, Northern Africa, West, West‑Central, Northeast, East, and South Tropical Africa, Southern Africa, Middle Atlantic Ocean, West Indian Ocean; Indian Subcontinent, Indo‑China, Malesia, North Indian Ocean; Australia, New Zealand; Northwestern, North‑Central, and South‑Central Pacific; Subantarctic Islands, Antarctic Continent.


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Bryum argenteum Hedw., Sp. Musc. Frond. 181. 1801.

Protologue: Ad muros, tecta, rupes Europae.

Mnium lanatum P. Beauv., Prodr. Aethéogam. 75. 1805. Bryum lanatum (P. Beauv.) Brid., Muscol. Recent. Suppl. 3: 20. 1817. Bryum argenteum var. lanatum (P. Beauv.) Hampe, Linnaea 13: 44. 1839. Protologue: U.S.A., South Carolina. J’au trouvé cette espèce dans l’Amérique septentrionale [Palisot Beauvois].

Bryum argenteum var. costa‑ricense Ren. & Card., Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belgique 31(1): 167. 1893. Protologue: Costa Rica. San José, commune au bord des trottoirs et sur les murs (Pittier 5569).

Bryum argenteum var. brachycarpum Card., Rev. Bryol. 36: 112. 1909. Protologue: Mexico. Etat de Jalisco: Sierra de San Esteban, 1908 [Pringle] 10566 (MO, US), 10569

Bryum tricolor Card., Rev. Bryol. 38: 34. 1911. Protologue: Mexico. Etat de Mexico: Ixtaccihuatl, Purpus, 1909, n° 3718 (MO).

Bryum cinereum Thér., Smithsonian Misc. Collect. 78(2): 15. 1926. Protologue: Mexico. [Puebla:] Finca Guadalupe [Arsène] 736 (US).

Bryum arsenei Thér., Smithsonian Misc. Collect. 78(2): 16. 1926. Protologue: Mexico. [Puebla:] [Arsène] 724 (US).

Bryum bursiforme Bartr., Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 4: 353. 1929. Protologue: Honduras. Wet sandy soil, Lancetilla Valley, near Tela, Department of  Atlántida, Honduras, altitude 20-600 meters, January 4, 1928, Paul C. Standley 54032 (F, US). 

Plants small, silvery‑green, in loose tufts, 3–10 mm high; rhizoids papillose. Leaves 0.5–1.3 mm long, imbricate, with recurved apices when dry, imbricate when wet, concave, broadly ovate, not or weakly decurrent; apices apiculate to filiform‑acuminate; margins plane or recurved below, unistratose, not bordered, nearly entire; costae slender, ending below the apex, percurrent or excurrent (lanatum-form); upper cells rhomboidal to rectangular, hyaline, firm‑walled, basal cells subquadrate to short‑rectangular, green, thick‑walled. Asexual reproduction by short, compact, deciduous branches. Dioicous. Setae 8–20 mm long, brown to red. Capsules 1–2 mm long, oblong‑cylindric, pendent, light-brown becoming red with age; exothecial cells below the mouth strongly differentiated in 10 or more rows; opercula 0.5 mm long, conic‑apiculate; annuli compound and revoluble; exostome teeth papillose, light brown, 350 μm high, endostome 320 μm high, yellowish to hyaline, basal membrane high, segments broad, perforate, lightly papillose, cilia 2–3, appendiculate. Spores 10–15 μm, smooth to faintly papillose. Calyptrae falling early, 1.2–1.5 mm long, cucullate.



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