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Published In: Öfversigt af Kongl. Vetenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar 21: 227. 1864. (Öfvers. Kongl. Vetensk.-Akad. Förh.) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

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Leptodontium flexifolium is distinguished by its small, erect-appressed to erect-flexuose leaves and presence of a stem sclerodermis rather than hyalodermis. There are two other similarly sized species of Leptodontium in Central America: L. filicola and L. stellatifolium. Leptodontium filicola also resembles L. flexifolium in leaf shape, marginal leaf dentation, and in having obovoid gemmae. Plants of L. filicola, however, are somewhat larger and coarser than L. flexifolium, they have a well-developed stem hyalodermis, stiffly erect-incurved leaves when dry, leaf cells with simple or bifid papillae and gemmae clustered at the stem apices. Leptodontium stellatifolium differs from most collections of  L. flexifolium in having leaf margins minutely crenulate rather than denticulate to dentate. There are however some entire leafed forms of L. flexifolium. The presence in L. stellatifolium of obtuse to broadly acute leaves with red to bright orange basal cells and costae consistently separates it from L. flexifolium.

In size and general aspect L. flexifolium can be confused with Zygodon, which like L. flexifolium has some species with pluripapillose leaf cells and stem borne gemmae. Zygodon differs from L. flexifolium in having plane leaf margins. In addition, Central American species of Zygodon never have the lighter marginal border sometimes seen in L. flexifolium. Although all Central American collections of L. flexifolium have distinctly recurved leaf margins, in New Guinea the species is reported with plane leaf margins (Norris & Koponen 1989).

Flagellate branches with small, widely spaced, appressed leaves are commonly found in Central American collections of L. flexifolium, and some collections (e.g., Standley 67663a, F) consist predominantly of such branches The leaves on these flagellate branches are usually minutely denticulate. This form of the species was described as L. filescens.

Illustrations: Dixon and Jameson (1896, Pl. 30 E); Bartram (1931, Figs. 8–12); Bartram (1949, Fig. 47 E–I, as L. filescens; Fig. 48 A–D, as L. orcutti); Zander (1972, Figs. 1, 8, 11, 25–35); Smith (1978, Fig. 143 1–3); Crum and Anderson (1981, Fig. 144); Abramova and Abramov (1983, Pl. 20); De Sloover (1987, Figs. 1–16); Noguchi (1988, Fig. 120 A); Norris and Koponen (1989, Fig. 6 e–j); Zander (1993, Pl. 37 1–4); Sharp et al. (1994, Fig. 194). Figure 43.
Habitat: On tree bark (Alnus, Quercus, Cupressus, Pinus), rotting logs, bare non-calcareous or siliceous rocks, humus over rock, and soil banks; 2134–3768 m.
Distribution in Central America: GUATEMALA. Chimaltenango: Standley 60980 (F, MICH); Huehuetenango: Steyermark 50172 (F, MICH, MO, NY, TENN); Quezaltenango: Sharp 2161 (MO, TENN); Quiché: Sharp 2540 (TENN); San Marcos: Sharp 5457 (MO, TENN); Sololá: Steyermark 47496 (F, MICH, NY); Totonicapán: Standley 84562 (F, MICH, NY). EL SALVADOR. Chalatenango: Sipman et al. 37634 (MO, NY). HONDURAS. Lempira: Allen 12136 (MO, TEFH). COSTA RICA. Alajuela: Hatheway & Hatheway 1714 (US); Cartago: King C91-74 (MO); San José: Crosby 9808 (MO). PANAMA. Chiriquí: Allen 9079 (BUF, MO).
World Range: Southwestern, South-Central, and Southeastern U.S.A.; Mexico; Central America; Western and Northern South America; Northern, Southwestern, and Middle Europe; Mongolia, China, Eastern Asia; West Central and East Tropical Africa; Indian Subcontinent, Malesia; North-Central Pacific.


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Leptodontium flexifolium (Dicks. ex With.) Hampe in Lindb., Öfvers. Förh. Kong. Svenska Vetensk.-Akad. 21: 227. 1864.

Bryum flexifolium Dicks ex With., Syst. Arr. Brit. Pl. ed. 4, 3: 799. 1801. Trichostomum flexifolium (Dicks. ex With.) Sm., Fl. Brit. 2: 1246. 1804. Didymodon flexifolius (Dicks. ex With.) Hook. f. & Tayl., Muscol. Brit. 66. 1818. Desmatodon flexifolius (Dicks. ex With.) Hampe, Linnaea 13: 366. 1839. Protologue: England. On barren sloping ground near Croydon, Dickson.

Trichostomum filescens Hampe, Linnaea 32: 128. 1863. Leptodontium filescens (Hampe) Mitt., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 12: 50. 1869. Protologue: Colombia. Paramo Choaché in tectis stramineis, 3600 metr., Septembr. [Lindig] 2127 (FH, NY).

Leptodontium orcuttii Bartr., J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 21: 289. 1931. Protologue: Mexico. Mineral del Chico, State of Hidalgo, Mexico, May 16, 1925, C. R. Orcutt no. 6731

Plants small in dense or loose tufts, glaucous-green, green, reddish or yellowish brown, 0.5–1.5(–5) cm high. Stems red, erect or laxly ascending, sclerodermis present, sparsely radiculose. Leaves distantly spaced, erect-appressed to erect-flexuose when dry, erect-spreading to spreading-recurved when wet, lingulate, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 1–2 mm long, keeled above, weakly sheathing at base, decurrent; apices broadly acute to obtuse, mucronate; margins recurved in lower 1/2–2/3, dentate to denticulate in upper 1/3, marginal cells often thicker-walled and less papillose than the inner cells forming a differentiated border; costa subpercurrent; upper leaf cells quadrate, subrectangular to triangular, thick-walled, 7.5–12.5 x 5–12.5 μm, pluripapillose, papillae c-shaped or bi- to trifid, basal cells rectangular, pluripapillose above, smooth at very base, firm-walled, 15–62.5 x 7.5–12.5 μm, alar cells not differentiated. Obovoid gemmae with transverse, vertical and oblique walls borne along the stems. Flagellate branches commonly present; flagellate branch leaves short, well-spaced with minutely denticulate margins and apiculate apices. Dioicous. Setae straight, 10–15 mm long, yellow. Capsules erect, cylindrical, 1–2 mm long, smooth; exothecial cells short-rectangular; stomata at base of urn; opercula conic-rostrate, 0.5–1 mm long; exostome teeth linear, divided to near the base, yellow-brown. Spores 15–20 μm, papillose. Calyptra cucullate, 3 mm long.



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