BFNA Title: Vesicularia
Author: S. L. Timme
Date: September 9, 2004
Edit Level: R Brum+
Version: 1

Bryophyte Flora of North America, Provisional Publication
Missouri Botanical Garden

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Hypnaceae - Vesicularia


XXX. VESICULARIA (J. K. A. Müller) J. K. A. Müller, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 23: 330.  1896 * [Latin vesicularis, like a little bladder, referring to the lax areolation of the leaf cells]

Stephen L. Timme


Hypnum subsect. Vesicularia J. K. A. Müller, Syn. Musc. Frond. 2: 233.  1851; Ectropothecium sect. Vesicularia (J. K. A. Müller) Renauld


Plants small to medium-sized, generally pale- to yellowish-green, sometimes dark-green, often in shiny mats.  Stems creeping, freely branching, irregular to pinnate, with or without a central strand.  Branches horizontal, simple, somewhat flattened, pseudoparaphyllia linear to foliose. Leaves dimorphic, ventral leaves generally smaller than the dorsal leaves, ± appressed, lanceolate to generally acuminate; dorsal leaves spreading to secund, somewhat asymmetric, ovate-lanceolate, oblong-lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate to oblong-ovate, apex acute or short- to long-acuminate, sometimes apiculate, margins entire or serrulate toward the apex; costa short and double or lacking.  Sexual condition generally autoicous; perichaetial leaves erect, subulate from an ovoid, oblong-ovoid, or oblong-ovate base, margins entire, serrulate to somewhat denticulate. Seta elongate, flexuose, smooth, reddish or reddish orange to yellow-orange, curved just proximal to the capsule.  Capsule horizontal to pendent, ovoid to oblong-ovoid, ± asymmetric, sometimes constricted proximal to the mouth when dry, annulus differentiated, exothecial cells quadrate to rectangular, thin-walled, often collenchymatous, operculum apiculate to short-rostrate, peristome double, teeth lanceolate, cross-striolate, tubeculate, papillose distally, endostome with a high basal membrane, segments keeled, cilia present, generally in groups of 1--3, stomata at the extreme base of the capsule. Calyptra smooth, cucullate.  Spores spherical, finely papillose to nearly smooth.


Species 175--190 (1 in the flora).  Southeastern U.S.A., Mexico, West Indies, Central America (Guatemala), n South America, Africa (including Madagascar), Asia (India, Japan, Philippines), Indian Ocean Islands, Pacific Islands, Australia.


This is a poorly studied genus and many of its species will undoubtedly be synonymous with other taxa when the group is studied on a worldwide basis.


SELECTED REFERENCE:  Buck, W. R., 1984.  Taxonomic and nomenclatural notes on West Indian Hypnaceae.  Brittonia 36: 178--183.  Salmon, E. S.  1904.  A revision of some species of Ectropothecium.  Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 31: 309--324. 


1. Vesicularia vesicularis (Schwaegrichen) Brotherus in A. Engler & K. Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 1(3): 1094. 1908


Hypnum vesiculare Schwaegrichen, Suppl. Sp. Musc. 2, 2(2): 167, 1827; Ectropothecium vesiculare (Schwaegrichen) Mitten; Vesicularia amphibola (Mitten) Brotherus; V. crassicaulis (Mitten) Brotherus; V. caloosiensis (Austin) H. A. Crum


Plants light- to yellow-green, in thin to dense mats.  Stems with 2--4 rows of thick-walled cells surrounding larger thick-walled cells, central strand of thin-walled cells.  Leaves somewhat contorted when dry, plane or sometimes falcate-secund; ventral branch leaves to 1.1 mm, ovate to oblong-ovate, apex apiculate to acuminate; distal cells lax, hexagonal to oblong-rhomboidal, 2.5--5:1, thick- to thin-walled, basal cells more elongate, alar cells not or only slightly differentiated; dorsal and lateral branch leaves to 1.1  mm, ovate, broadly oblong-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, apex acute to acuminate; distal cells hexagonal, oblong-hexagonal to somewhat rhomboidal, 2.3--4.1:1, generally thick-walled, marginal cells noticeably narrower, basal cells more elongate, alar cells not or only slightly differentiated.  Sexual condition autoicous.  Seta 13--21 mm.  Capsules to 0.9 mm, horizontal or nearly so, sometimes pendent, often contracted just proximal to the mouth, peristome teeth brown. 


Shaded, moist soil, humus, logs, or rocks, occasionally submerged rocks in running water; c and s Fla., La; Mexico; Central America; South America.


This species has been introduced in greenhouses, for example, the Missouri Botanical Garden Climatron, and on sides of goldfish pools in California.