BFNA Title: Oxymitriaceae
Date: 8 March 2023
Edit Level: R
Version: 1

Bryophyte Flora of North America, Provisional Publication
Missouri Botanical Garden
BFNA Web site:


Return to Home

12. OXYMITRACEAE Müller Frib. ex Grolle
Alan T. Whittemore
Plants thallose, 6--13 x 1.8--3 mm, branching dichotomous; thallus dorsal surface with a narrow [broad] median groove; dorsal pores simple, cells surrounding pores with radial walls strongly thickened; air chambers much higher than broad, without green filaments.  Ventral scales irregularly scattered over thallus, tapering to slender apices that function as appendages but are not clearly set off from body of scale.  Brood bodies absent.  Antheridia embedded in dorsal tissue of thallus.  Sporophytes embedded in thallus beneath pyramidal involucres, indehiscent, spores liberated by disintegration of wall and surrounding gametophytic tissues; foot rudimentary, seta absent; sterile cells in spore mass thin walled, usually disintegrating before capsule matures.
Genus 1, species 2 (1 genus and 1 species in the flora):  North America, South America, Mediterranean basin, South Africa.
1.  OXYMITRA Bischoff ex Lindenberg, Nova Acta Phys.-Med. Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. Nat. Cur. 14 (suppl.): 124. 1829 *  [Greek oxy, sharp, and mitra, miter, alluding to pyramidal involucres]
Thallus with a sharp, narrow median groove.  Ventral scales conspicuous, triangular, tapering gradually into a slenderly attenuate apex.  Antheridia in linear receptacles in median groove of thallus.   Sporophytes enclosed in involucres that are crowded in median groove of thallus.  Spores black and opaque, angular.
Species 2 (1 species in the flora):  North America, South America, Europe, sw Asia, Atlantic Islands, s Africa.
1.  Oxymitra incrassata (Brotero) Sérgio & Sim-Sim, J. Bryol. 15: 662. 1989
Riccia incrassata Brotero, Fl. Lusit. 2: 428. 1804; Oxymitra paleacea Bischoff
Thalli densely cespitose, upper surface pale green or with brown margins, underside dark brownish purple, 6--13 x 1.8--3 mm, simple or once dichotomous; when dry inrolled or sharply infolded along midline; areoles 0.06-0.1 mm across, not conspicuous, not subdivided, regular in shape; pores bordered by 5--6 cells with radial walls strongly thickened, otherwise hardly differentiated.  Ventral scales white from a purple base, 1.7--2.3 x 0.4--1.4 mm, plane or margins inrolled when dry, extending far beyond margin of thallus, when dry incurved and more or less covering thallus.  Sexual condition autoicous or dioicous.  Involucres separate, pyramidal or ovoid, purple, 1.3 x 0.6--1 mm, in one row, seldom several irregular rows, in median groove of thallus; upper part of involucre breaking away at maturity and carrying away the upper capsule wall to expose the spore mass.  Spores (90--)118--175 \um, outer face regularly areolate.
Thin soil over nonporous rock that is wet after rains and very dry during dry spells; 75--750 m; Kans., Mo., Okla., Tex.; Mexico; South America; Europe; sw Asia; Atlantic Islands.
Variation in this species is discussed by R. L. McGregor (1955).
SELECTED REFERENCE  McGregor, R. L.  1955.  Taxonomy and ecology of Kansas Hepaticae.  Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 37: 55--141.