3. Heterocladium Schimper in P. Bruch and W. P. Schimper, Bryol. Europ. 5: 151, plates 479, 480. 1852. • [Greek heteros, differing, and kladion, branchlet, alluding to growth form].
Robert E. Magill
Plants in wiry wefts, dark green to olive green, occasionally yellowish. Stems irregularly branched to pinnate; paraphyllia few or absent. Leaves appressed or squarrose, imbricate, dimorphic, stem leaves ovate-acuminate, branch leaves ovate; margins plane, serrate, serrulate, or papillose- serrate; apex acute to acuminate; costa single, short, usually 2-fid or double to mid leaf, broad basally; alar cells not differentiated; laminal cells quadrate to rhomboidal, strongly papillose or smooth, walls thickened; basal and juxtacostal cells elongate. Capsule horizontal, short-cylindric, curved.
Species 9 (3 in the flora): North America, Mexico, Central America (El Salvador), South America, Europe, Asia.
Heterocladium frequently has elongate to flagellate branches. The seta is 0.1-0.2 cm and smooth; the capsule is brown; the operculum is conic-apiculate to short-rostrate; the peristome is perfect, with two or three elongate, nodose cilia; and the spores are 10-18 µm and essentially smooth.