BFNA Title: Kindbergia
Author: M. S. Ignatov
Date: October 3, 2009
Edit Level: R
Version: 1

Bryophyte Flora of North America, Provisional Publication
Missouri Botanical Garden

BFNA Web site:


Return to Home


XX. Kindbergia Ochyra, Lindbergia 8: 53. 1982 * [For N. C. Kindberg, 1832--1910, Swedish bryologist]


Plants medium-sized to robust, green to yellow- or brownish green. Stems prostrate, ascending to erect, with central strand, usually loosely foliate, regularly pinnately branched, branches straight, densely or moderately terete foliate; axillary hairs 4--5-celled; juvenile branch leaves acuminate. Stem leaves loosely arranged to loosely imbricate, erecto-patent to reflexed or squarrose, broadly triangular and tapered to a lanceolate acumen, proximally cordate, long- and broadly decurrent; margin serrate distally, serrulate to subentire proximally; costa reaching 0.7--0.9 of leaf length, sometimes subpercurrent, ending with or rarely without a spine; basal cells adjacent to the decurrency isodiametric to short-rectangular, relatively large and thin-walled, forming an indistinct group; mid-laminal cells rather short-elongate, moderately thick-walled, sometimes forming tooth-like projections on dorsal surface. Branch leaves smaller and narrower, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, acuminate; margins more strongly serrate than stem leaves; back of costa and dorsal lamina more toothed than in stem leaves. Sexual condition dioicous; perichaetial leaves abruptly contracted from sheathing base to long, reflexed acumen. Seta red-brown, usually strongly roughened. Capsule red-brown, inclined to horizontal, curved; annulus separating; operculum long-rostrate, rostrum moderately wide; peristome xerocastique, perfect. Calyptra naked. Spores 12--17 \um.


Kindbergia comprises a natural group of species first recognized by H. Robinson (1962) who placed it in Bryhnia, but later segregated it as the genus Stokesiella. These species were previously treated within Eurhynchium or Oxyrrhinchium. Nomenclatural problems required the substitution of the name illegitimate name Stokesiella with Kindbergia. Molecular phylogenetic data support the position of Kindbergia near Bryhnia, and distant from both Eurhynchium and Oxyrrhinchium (S. Huttunen and M. S. Ignatov 2004).


Species: 2--7 (2 in the flora): temperate areas of North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia (Middle East, Himalayan region), Australia.


SELECTED REFERENCES Giles, K. S. 1990. Taxonomic status of Eurhynchium brittoniae Grout (Brachytheciaceae: Bryopsida). Taxon 39: 655--657. Lawton E. 1971. Moss flora of the Pacific Northwest. Hattori Botanical Laboratory, Nichinan.


1. Plants large; branch leaves 1--2 x (0.6--)0.7--0.9(--1.2) mm; sympodial branching rare; plants plumose . .  1. Kindbergia oregana


1. Plants medium-sized; branch leaves (0.3--)0.6--1.2 x (0.1--)0.25--0.4(--0.65) mm; sympodial branching common; plants not conspicuously plumose. .  2. Kindbergia praelonga


1. Kindbergia oregana (Sullivant) Ochyra, Lindbergia 8: 54. 1982


Hypnum oreganum Sullivant, Mem. Amer. Acad. Arts, n. s. 4: 172. 1849


Plants robust, green to yellow- or brownish-green. Stems usually 10--25(--45) cm, usually simple; branches 6-10(--12) mm, almost always simple. Stem leaves 1.2--2.2 x 0.8--1.2(--1.6) mm; mid-laminal cells 35--80 x 3.5--5(--6) \um. Branch leaves 1.0-2.0 x (0.6--)0.7--0.9(--1.2) mm. Seta 15--20 mm. Spores 12--16 \um.


Litter, soil rich in humus, rotten logs; in forests, usually in mesic, diffusely lightened places; 0--600(--1300) m; B.C.; Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Oreg., Wash.; endemic.


Kindbergia oregana differs from the most common morphotype of K. praelonga in its more robust stature and simple branches, but the same characters differentiate “typical” K. praelonga from K. praelonga var. stokesii. The latter can be differentiated from K. oregana by occasional sympodial branching and branch leaves up to 0.6(--0.65) mm wide, not 0.7--0.9 mm, as commonly can be found in K. oregana. In addition, the branch leaves of K. oregana are usually distinctly plicate and the laminal cells are narrower and more thin-walled.


2. Kindbergia praelonga (Hedwig) Ochyra, Lindbergia 8: 54. 1982


Hypnum praelongum Hedwig, Sp. Musc. Frond., 258. 1801; Eurhychium brittoniae Grout E. praelongum (Hedwig) Bruch, Schimper & Gümbel, E. praelongum var. stokesii (Turner) Dixon, E. praelongum var. californicum Grout, Kindbergia brittoniae (Grout) Ochyra


Plants medium-sized to moderately robust, usually green, rarely yellow-green. Stems 3--10 cm, often with sympodial branching; pinnate branches 6--10(--20) mm long, often with secondary branches. Stem leaves 0.7--1.4 x (0.5--)0.7--1.2 mm; mid-laminal cells 20--75 x 5--6 \um. Branch leaves (0.3--)0.6--1.2 x (0.1--)0.25--0.4(--0.65) mm. Seta 15--25 mm. Spores 12--17 \um.


Soil in mesic to wet places, usually in or near forests; 0--2000(--2560) m; B.C.; Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Wash.; Mexico; Central America; South America; Atlantic Islands; Europe; w Asia; n, s Africa; Australia; Pacific Islands (New Zealand).


Kindbergia praelonga is variable in both size and branching patterns. Two taxa have commonly been recognized within this species, Eurhynchium praelongum var. stokesii and K. brittoniae The former taxon is more robust than “typical” K. praelonga, and has mostly simple branches, as with K. oregana. In contrast, K. brittoniae is a more slender plant with slightly roughened to almost smooth setae. Transitions between these extremes make it difficult to segregate either taxon (K. S. Giles 1990). Recent results of L. Hedenäs (in prep. 2009) demonstrate that American and European populations of K. praelonga are strongly differentiated genetically and likely represent two species. However, morphological characters broadly overlap providing no chance to separate them by morphology. If this is accepted, the resurrection of the name K. brittoniae for the American plants of K. praelonga would occur. Kindbergia praelonga was reported several times from the eastern North America, but correctly identified collections have not been seen to date. It is most commonly confused with Sciuro-hypnum starkei or Bryhnia novae-angliae. However, S. starkei is autoicous with frequent sporophyte production; the conic operculum is the most reliable differentiating character state, although not present in all specimens. Other characteristic features of S. starkei include a percurrent costa that lacks an adaxial costal spine and more narrow leaf decurrencies. Bryhnia is distinct in its free, irregular branching, and, in many collections, some leaves strongly concave and rather shortly acute.





Huttunen S. and M. S. Ignatov. 2004. Phylogeny of Brachytheciaceae (Bryophyta), based on morphology and sequence level data. Cladistics. 20: 151--183.


Robinson, H. 1962 [1963]. Generic revisions of North American Brachytheciaceae. Bryologist 65: 73--146.