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Published In: Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 32: 267. 1993. (Bull. Buffalo Soc. Nat. Sci.) Name publication detail

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Acceptance : Accepted
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Syntrichia amphidiacea is better known in North America as Tortula caroliniana. In Central America it is separated from other members of the genus by its oblong, multicellular gemmae that are borne on 1 or both upper leaf surfaces and yellowish leaf margins in which the cells are usually smaller and thicker-walled than the interior cells. Syntrichia fragilis is similar in leaf shape and in lacking leaf hairpoints, but differs from S. amphidiacea in having mucronate leaves, shortly excurrent costae with papillose ventral surface cells, and smaller upper leaf cells. In addition, the leaf cells in S. amphidiacea are often collenchymatously thickened, more irregularly shaped and less strongly papillose than those of S. fragilis.

Illustrations: Andrews (1920, Pl. 5); Bartram (1949, Figs. 62 I–K); Crum and Anderson (1981, Fig. 176 F–M); Grout (1939, Pl. 113 B); Norris and Koponen (1989, Figs. 16 a–e); Zander (1993, Pl. 106 1–8); Sharp et al. (1994, Fig. 248); Churchill and Linares (1995, Fig. 161 a–d). Figure 74.
Habitat: On bark of trees and shrubs; 1080–2590 m.
Distribution in Central America: GUATEMALA. Alta Verapaz: Standley 69556B (F); Baja Verapaz: Sharp 2902 (FH, TENN, US); Huehuetenango: Sharp 4809 (F); Quezaltenango: Sharp 2164 (MO); Quiché: Sharp 2461 (MO); Sololá: Hermann 26341 (F); Suchitepequez: Standley 58825a (F); Totonicapán: Standley 84441a (F). HONDURAS. Comayagua: Allen 17174 (MO); Francisco Morazán: Olson 83–15 (MO); Lempira: Allen 11122 (MO); Ocotepeque: Allen 14423C (MO); Santa Bárbara: Allen 11600B (MO). NICARAGUA. Jinotega: Standley 9987 (F); Matagalpa: Granzow de la Cerda 2165 (MO). COSTA RICA. Alajuela: Holz & Schäfer-Verwimp CR99-1435 (GOET, MO).
World Range: Southeastern U.S.A.; Mexico; Central America; Western South America;  Malesia.


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Syntrichia amphidiacea (C. Müll.) Zand., Bull. Buffalo Soc. Nat. Sci. 32: 267. 1993.

Barbula amphidiacea C. Müll., Linnaea 38: 639. 1874. Tortula amphidiacea (C. Müll.) Broth., Nat. Pflanzenfam. 1(3): 434. 1902. Protologue: Mexico, monte Orizaba: Freder. Müller inter alios muscos legit. Hb. Lorentz sub Zygodon..

Tortula caroliniana Andr., Bryologist 23: 72. 1920. Protologue: U.S.A. Bank of Swannanoa River at Swannanoa, Buncombe Co., July 9; North Fork, some 5 miles above its confluence with Swannanoa River, July 10; Grandmother Gap, Avery Co., Aug. 13; all in North Carolina, 1919. 

Plants small, scattered or in loose tufts, yellowish green to reddish green, corticolous. Stems 5–15 mm high, irregularly branched, central strand present, sclerodermis present; rhizoids smooth, densely branched clustered at base of stem. Leaves spathulate, oblong or oblong-ovate, erect at base, twisted and irregularly contorted when dry, erect-spreading when wet; apices acute, apiculate; laminae unistratose; margins entire to crenulate, at times bordered by thick-walled, colored cells, plane above, recurved below; costa narrow, subpercurrent to percurrent, ventral surface cells quadrate, smooth, guide cells and single (dorsal stereid band) present, ventral surface layer of enlarged cells present; upper cells irregularly rounded-quadrate, hexagonal, short-rectangular, oblate, or triangular, 8–22 x 8–20 μm, firm-walled, irregularly thickened to collenchymatous, lightly pluripapillose, the papillae low, o-shaped, scattered over the lumina, basal cells rectangular, thin-walled, smooth, 36–100 x 12–22 μm, alar cells not differentiated. Asexually reproducing by gemmae on leaf laminae near apex, usually on ventral, but sometimes on dorsal surface, gemmae multicellular with both vertical and horizontal cell walls. Dioicous. Setae smooth, 6–8 mm long, red. Capsules exserted, cylindrical, erect, 2–3 mm long, smooth, red; stomata not seen; opercula rostrate, 1–1.5 mm long; peristome teeth 0.5–1.0 mm long, irregularly twisted, basal membrane short. Spores 18–22 μm, granulate. Calyptrae cucullate, smooth, 2.5 mm long.


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