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Bryoxiphiaceae Bescherelle

Ronald A. Pursell

Plants small. Stems unbranched or infrequently branched subapically, bulb-like or not at proximal end, erect or pendent, loosely to densely tufted, rarely solitary; axillary hairs filiform, hyaline, or basal and adjacent cell pale tan or pale rose-violet; paraphyllia none; pseudoparaphyllia none; rhizoids basal, light-brown to reddish, smooth. Leaves distichous, tightly imbricate, changing little when dry, conduplicate; 1-costate, costa supporting a low dorsal lamella; laminal cells firm-walled, 1-stratose, smooth, somewhat bulging. Sexual condition dioicous; perigonia and perichaetia terminal, indistinct, without and with paraphyses, respectively, archegonia about one-half the length of the paraphyses; antheridia and archegonia few. Sporophytes single. Seta short, erect or somewhat curved. Capsule subglobose, emergent, erect or somewhat inclined, radially symmetric, stomatose; annulus lacking; peristome lacking; operculum obliquely rostellate, persistent, attached to columella after dehiscence. Calyptra cucullate. Spores spheric.

Genera 1, species 2 (1 in the flora): primarily temperate regions; North America; West Indies; Europe; Asia.


Löve, A. and D. Löve. 1953. Studies on Bryoxiphium. Bryologist 56: 73--94, 183--203.


Britton, E. G. 1913. Bryoxiphiaceae. N. Amer. Fl. 15 (1): 69--70.
Crum, H.A. and L. E. Anderson. 1981. Mosses of Eastern North America. Volume 1. New York.
Hague, S. M. and W. H. Welch. 1951. Observations regarding scarcity of sporophytes in Bryoxiphium norvegicum. Bryologist 54: 214--215.
Löve, A. (ed.) 1985. Chromosome number reports LXXXVIII. Taxon 34: 547--551.
Porter, T. C. 1904. Catalogue of the Bryophyta and Pteridophyta found in Pennsylvania. Boston.
Sharp, A. J., H. A. Crum, and P. M. Eckel. 1994. The Moss Flora of Mexico. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 69: i--viii; 1--580; I--XVII.
Steere, W. C. 1937. Bryoxiphium norvegicum, the sword moss, as a preglacial and interglacial relic. Ecology 18: 346--358.

Lower Taxon


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