BFNA Title: Sematophyllaceae
Author: W. B. Schofield
Date: November 17, 2009
Edit Level: R
Version: 1

Bryophyte Flora of North America, Provisional Publication
Missouri Botanical Garden

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XX. SEMATOPHYLLACEAE Brotherus in A. Engler & K. Prantl

W. B. Schofield†


Plants small to robust, mat-forming, reclining, usually glossy golden to yellow green, 1--20 cm, irregularly to pinnately branched, complanate or not.  Stem usually reddish; pseudoparaphyllia foliose or filamentous.  Stem leaves erect-spreading, wide-spreading, falcate-secund or homomallous, lanceolate to broadly ovate, tapering gradually or abruptly to a long or short often-toothed acumen; costa absent or short and double; cells smooth or papillose (serially or 1-papillose), usually flexuose, elongate- or short-hexagonal, occasionally linear medially; alar cells usually in well-defined colored groups, the proximal row often strongly elongate and inflated, or not inflated and with thicker walls. Branch leaves usually smaller and narrower, with alar cells less strongly differentiated.  Specialized asexual reproduction by flagelliferous branches or axillary filamentous propagula.  Sexual condition dioicous or autoicous.  Seta elongate, smooth or rough, usually reddish brown. Capsule inclined or erect, cylindric or ovoid, exothecial cells commonly collenchymatous and irregularly thickened; peristome generally double; operculum usually rostrate. Calyptra cucullate [mitrate].


Genera 40 (8 in the flora): predominantly tropical to temperate regions.


Based on the genera in our area, the Sematophyllaceae is a reasonably coherent one, but in the tropics the boundaries are more difficult to define.


SELECTED LITERATURE:  Crum, H. A.and L. E. Anderson. 1981. Mosses of North America, 2 vols. New York. Pp. 1105--1126.  Hedenas, L. and W. R. Buck 1999 A phylogenetic analysis of the Sematophyllaceae. Lindbergia 24: 103--132.


1.  Leaf cells serially papillose . . . 8.  Taxithelum

1.  Leaf cells smooth or prorate.

2.  Alar cells enlarged but mostly quadrate or rectangular, thick-walled with middle lamella apparent . . . 6.  Heterophyllium

2.  Alar cells usually with a row of rounded, inflated cells, usually with thin walls.

3.  Alar cells in a single row of colored, inflated, elongate cells with differentiated supra-alar cells not apparent . . . 1.  Acroporium

3.  Alar cells in more than one row or with supra-alar cells differentiated.

4.  Sporangium erect, peristome single . . . 4.  Donnellia

4.  Sporangium usually inclined, peristome double, or lacking sporophytes.

5.  Stem leaves entire throughout . . . 2. Sematophyllum

5.  Stem leaves toothed near apex.

6.  Plants complanate-foliate, leaves falcate-secund, especially at shoot and branch apices . . . 5. Brotherella

6.  Plants not complanate-foliate, leaves usually not falcate-secund, but often homomallous.

7.  Stem-leaves broadly ovate, abruptly tapering to apex . . . 3. Hageniella

7.  Stem leaves ovate-lanceolate, gradually tapering to apex . . . 7. Pylaisiadelpha