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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 28 | Amblystegiaceae

11. Amblystegium Schimper in P. Bruch and W. P. Schimper, Bryol. Europ. 6: 45, plates 561-566, 568-573. 1853. • [Greek amblys, blunt, and stege, roof, alluding to obtuse operculum].

Alain Vanderpoorten

Plants small, green to yellowish. Stems freely and irregularly branched; hyalodermis absent, central strand present; paraphyllia absent; rhizoids or rhizoid initials on stem or abaxial costa insertion, rarely forming tomentum, slightly to strongly branched, smooth; axillary hair distal cells 1 (or 2), hyaline. Stem and branch leaves erect to spreading, straight or rarely subsecund, ovate to oblong-lanceolate, not plicate, 0.5-1 mm; base not decurrent; margins plane, entire or denticulate, limbidia absent; apex acuminate, ; costa single, usually reaching mid leaf, sometimes shorter or to 3/4 leaf length; alar cells often well differentiated, subquadrate to transversely elongate, region broadly ovate or transversely triangular along margin; medial laminal cells short-oblong; marginal cells 1-stratose. Sexual condition autoicous. Capsule inclined to horizontal, cylindric, arcuate; peristome perfect; , margins dentate or slightly so; endostome (basal membrane present), cilia usually well developed. Spores 9-18 µm.

Species 1: nearly worldwide.

Amblystegium differs from Hygroamblystegium in its smaller size and weaker costa, this less than 30 µm wide at base, most often ceasing mid leaf; the costa rarely reaches three-fourths of leaf length but in such cases is straight, not curved as in Hygroamblystegium. Unlike the latter genus, Amblystegium lacks paraphyllia. Amblystegium is a terrestrial genus that sometimes occurs in swampy but never aquatic or subaquatic habitats.

SELECTED REFERENCE Conard, H. S. 1959. Amblystegium. Bryologist 62: 96-104.

Lower Taxon


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