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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 28 | Brachytheciaceae

19. Zelometeorium Manuel, J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 43: 110, figs. 5-9. 1978. • [Greek zelos, emulation, and genus Meteorium, alluding to similarity].

Michael S. Ignatov, William D. Reese

Plants large, in intricate tangles, sometimes distally filiform, green or more commonly yellowish to brownish, blackish in old parts. Stems both creeping and pendent flexuose, terete-foliate, unevenly branched, sometimes fairly regularly pinnate, branches terete-foliate; central strand weak, sometimes absent; pseudoparaphyllia broadly triangular; axillary hairs of 3 or 4 cells. Stem leaves in dense foliage erect-spreading to squarrose from clasping base, broadly ovate; base cordate; margins subentire to serrulate; apex acute to acuminate; costa to 60-80% leaf length, slender, terminal abaxial tooth small; laminal cells linear; basal juxtacostal cells short-rectangular; leaves in loose foliage erect to erect-spreading from clasping base, narrowly to broadly ovate; base auriculate; apex abruptly acuminate; costa to 30-70% leaf length, terminal spine absent; submarginal alar cells in leaf corners, usually only 2-4, sometimes slightly enlarged and pellucid; laminal cells linear; basal juxtacostal cells shorter. Branch leaves not differentiated. Sexual condition dioicous; perichaetial leaves erect, acumen erect to spreading, costa extending to base of acumen. [Seta reddish, , rough. Capsule erect, brownish, cylindric, straight; annulus separating by fragments; operculum conic-rostrate; peristome hygrocastique, modified. Calyptra (mitrate), pilose. Spores 14-23 µm].

Species 5 (1 in the flora): Florida, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, c Africa, Pacific Islands (Galapagos Islands).

Zelometeorium has long been treated as a member of the tropical and subtropical family Meteoriaceae, although its closest relative, Meteoridium, was considered a member of Brachytheciaceae by some authors (M. A. Lewis 1992). Results of molecular phylogenetics (M. S. Ignatov and S. Huttunen 2002) definitely indicate the position of both within Brachytheciaceae, a sister family to Meteoriaceae. Sporophytes are very rare, and the description is based on Latin American plants.

SELECTED REFERENCE Manuel, M. G. 1977. A monograph of the genus Zelometeorium Manuel, gen. nov. (Bryopsida: Meteoriaceae). J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 43: 107-126.

Lower Taxon


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