BFNA Title: Antitrichia
Author: C. C. Newberry 
Date: February 25, 2008
Edit Level: R
Version: 2

Bryophyte Flora of North America, Provisional Publication
Missouri Botanical Garden

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XX. ANTITRICHIA Bridel, Mant. Musc. 136. 1819 * [Greek anti, opposite, and trix, hair, referring to endostome segments opposite the exostome teeth]

Clayton C. Newberry


Plants robust, densely foliate, in thick loose mats.  Secondary stems usually elongate, procumbent or pendent, internally divided into a strong 4--6-layered cortex of incrassate cells and a medulla of loose, thin-walled cells; central strand rudimentary or absent.  Branching sparse and irregular, overall somewhat plumose, the branch internal anatomy similar to that of main stem, only smaller.  Pseudoparaphyllia investing the branch buds, deltate to subfoliose. Leaves 2--3 x 1-1.5 mm, ovate-lanceolate to cordate-ovate, the apex acute to acuminate to abruptly acuminate, concave, the base rounded to subcordate, slightly decurrent, the proximal margins revolute, cells epapillose; apical cells oval-rhombic; median cells uniformly more linear-flexuous; basal cells rounded-quadrate to elliptical, filling the basalmost angle and extending well up the margin; margin revolute and entire up to the apex.  Branch leaves similar to those of main stem but smaller and narrower, 2--3 x 1 mm, the leaves in flagelliform apices even smaller, narrower, more weakly costate and more strongly denticulate.  Costa strong, subpercurrent, with two or more shorter supplementary costae at the base.  Sexual condition dioicous.  Perigonia borne on the main stem, less commonly on the side branches, barely 1 mm, the leaves small, deltoid-apiculate.  Perichaetial branches borne mostly on the main stem; perichaetial leaves ecostate.  Seta brown, straight.  Capsule exserted, surface smooth; annulus scant, adherent or lacking; operculum oblique-rostrate; peristome double, eciliate; exostome teeth pale, subulate, trabeculate or papillose; endostome segments poorly developed, pale, short, 1/2--3/4 as long as the exostome teeth, narrowly subulate, papillose, fragile and evanescent; basal membrane lacking; cilia lacking.  Calyptra smooth, cucullate, naked.


SELECTED REFERENCES Crum, H. and L. Anderson.  1981.  Mosses of Eastern North America.  2 vols.  New York.  Norris, D. and J. Shevock.  2004.  Contributions towards a bryoflora of California II.  A key to the mosses.  Madroño 51: 133--269. Schofield, W.  1976.  Bryophytes of British Columbia III:  habitat and distributional information for selected mosses.  Syesis 9: 317--354.


Species 5 (2 in the flora): North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa.


1.   Plants julaceous when dry; supplementary costae weak, less than 5 cells long; laminal cell walls poorly pitted………………………………………………………1. Antitrichia californica

1.   Plants erect-patent when dry; supplementary costae strong, more than 6 cells in length; laminal cell walls pitted throughout…………………………………………....2. Antitrichia curtipendula


1. Antitrichia californica Sullivant in Lesquereux, Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 13: 11.  1865


Antitrichia curtipendula var. californica (Sullivant) Braithwaite; Cryphaea californica (Sullivant in Lesquereux) Kindberg; Macouniella californica (Sullivant in Lesquereux) Kindberg


Plants dark green when dry, bright green when moist, stiff and wiry, mat-forming and spreading widely over the substrate.  Secondary stems to 10 cm, ± regularly pinnate and subfrondiform, curling downward and inward when dry, uncurling erect when moist; central strand rudimentary, consisting of a few small, weak-walled cells.  Leaves imbricate when dry, erect-spreading when moist, ovate-lanceolate, apex sharp-denticulate; cells unpitted or poorly pitted; median cells 15--22 x 3-6 \um; juxtacostal cells sometimes slightly more elongated; costa basally broad, narrowing to the apex, the terminus sometimes splitting; supplementary costa lacking or, if present, rudimentary, short, less than 6 cells long, 1--3 branching off either side of the base of the main costa, subequal, asymmetric.  Lateral branches subequal, to 15 mm, often distally flagelliform, occasionally fertile or bearing small (less than 5 mm) branchlets.  Branch leaves julaceous and apically recurved when dry, erect-spreading when moist.  Perichaetial leaves grading from deltoid to elongate-acuminate with a filiform apex, the basal cells thin-walled, rectangular, 4--5:1, the median cells flexuous-elongate at 5--8:1.  Seta 8--11 mm, straight.  Capsule brown, 2.5--5 mm, erect to asymmetric-curved, cylindric to oblong-cylindric, the stomates few and flush with the surface; annulus lacking; exostome teeth strongly papillose; endostome segments fractiflexuous.  Spores brown, papillose, 15--20 \um.


Bark or decorticated wood, most commonly of Quercus but also of other trees, or rock surfaces, usually siliceous, rarely on soil or humic soil, full sun or partial shade; 0--1200 m; B.C.; Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Oreg., Wash.; s Europe, sw Asia, n Africa, Atlantic Islands (Canary Islands).


Antitrichia californica is a common moss of the more temperate regions of far western North America.  Its southernmost report is from San Diego County, California, in the peninsular massif within 1 km of the international border.  Northward, it usually occurs in drier, low-elevation inland locations throughout much of cismontane California, and of the Rogue, Umpqua, Willamette and Columbia watersheds and Puget Trough.  In interior British Columbia it follows the Fraser Watershed, mostly south of 50° north latitude.  Along the Pacific Coast, it occurs from Vancouver Island northwestward as far as Ivanov Bay on the Alaska Peninsula.  Its relationship to the generally Middle Eastern A. breidleriana needs further investigation.  In cismsontane California, southern Oregon and Willamette Valley, A. californica often dominates the trunks and, more especially, the horizontal branches of oak trees, often in large monoculture patches.  It has been reported only rarely on conifer bark.  At higher latitudes it seems to favor rock substrates, and is seldom as substrate-predominant as it is further south


SELECTED REFERENCE Norris, D. and J. Shevock.  2004.  Contributions towards a bryoflora of California II.  A key to the mosses.  Madroño 51: 133--269.


2. Antitrichia curtipendula (Timm ex Hedwig) Bridel, Musc. Rec. Suppl. 4: 136.  1819


Neckera curtipendula Timm ex Hedwig, Sp. Musc. Frond., 209. 1801; Antitrichia curtipendula var. gigantea Sullivant & Lesquereux;  A. gigantea (Sullivant & Lesquereux) Kindberg


Plants large, green to stramineous to yellow-brown when dry, bright green when moist, mat-forming to deep weft-forming, often spreading widely over the substrate and covering whole limbs and branches of trees.  Secondary stems 10--20 cm, irregularly pinnate.  Leaves loose-imbricate to open-subsecund when dry, erect-spreading when moist, ± plicate, broadly ovate to ovate-lanceolate, the apex denticulate, the teeth strong and often reflexed, or the apex sometimes drawn out into a filiform point; leaf cells pitted throughout; median cells 24--36 x 5--6 \um; costa often splitting distally; supplementary costae strong, usually 2--3 on each side of the base of the main costal, extending 1/5--1/3 the length of the leaf.  Lateral branches sometimes pendent and distally flagelliform, subequal, to 30 mm, occasionally bearing even smaller (less than 5 mm) branchlets.  Perichaetial leaves grading from short deltoid-apiculate to long gladiate-cuspidate and sheathing, the basal cells thin-walled, rectangular at 4--5:1, median cells flexuous-elongate to 10:1.  Seta 8--15 mm.  Capsule brown to yellow-brown, 4--5 mm, mostly erect-symmetric, oblong-ovoid.  Spores pale brown, 20--30 \um.


Trunks and branches of Acer, Alnus, Populus, Quercus, Prunus, also, less commonly conifers, dead branches, snags, decorticated or decomposing logs, rock faces (usually siliceous), occasionally soil and humus; 0--2100 m; Greenland; B.C., Nfld. and Labr.; Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Montana, Oreg., Wash.; Europe; w Asia; montane e Africa; Atlantic Islands (Canaries, Faroes, Iceland, Madeira).


In California the distribution of Antitrichia curtipendula is almost identical to that of the coastal redwood:  maritime to submaritime locations from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties northward, penetrating inland only in mesic microhabitats. It is more broadly distributed in cismontane Oregon and Washington.  It occurs in the cedar-hemlock-larch ecozones of northern Idaho and northwest Montana (an area noted for many maritime disjuncts), and in mesic microhabitats along the Snake River, Salmon River and their tributaries.  In British Columbia it also penetrates much further inland in the Fraser and Columbia watersheds, almost as far east as the Continental Divide.  Although inland it stays mostly south of 52° north latitude, along the Pacific coast it extends in a broad geographic arc through Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia, Queen Charlotte Islands, Alexander Archipelago, Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Alaska Peninsula, and the Aleutians Islands, and northwards to the Pribilofs and St. Matthew Island.  In eastern North America the occurrence of A. curtipendula in Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland has been well documented; its reported occurrences near Lake Superior and in the southern Appalachians are questionable and highly doubtful, respectively (H. A. Crum and L. E. Anderson 1981).


Antitrichia curtipendula and its near-relative A. californica broadly overlap in western North America, although the former extends farther north, northwest and northeast, and the latter farther south.  A. californica achieves its greatest preponderance in semi-dry oak woodlands of California and Oregon, where it often dominates the epiphyte flora, while A. curtipendula achieves its greatest preponderance in deep antique Cascadian forests, maritime forests and boreal rainforests, where it forms dense, massive epiphytic cushions.  Some authors (D. H. Norris and J. R. Shevock 2004) refer to all material in western North America, especially along the coast, either as A. curtipendula var. gigantea or A. gigantea.  Others, as here, consider the larger, more massive coastal material an environmental variation.



Crum, H. A. and L. E. Anderson.  1981.  Mosses of Eastern North America.  Vols. 1 & 2.  Columbia University Press, New York.

Norris, D. H. and J. R. Shevock.  2004.  Contributions towards a bryoflora of California II.  A key to the mosses.  Madroño 51(2): 133--269.