BFNA Title: Rutenbergiaceae
XX. RUTENBERGIACEAE M. Fleischer
William R. Buck
Plants mostly robust, in green to golden, mostly thin but sometimes extensive, epiphytic colonies. Primary stems creeping, slender, inconspicuous, with reduced, scale-like leaves, sympodially branched, secondary stems +/- erect, simple to irregularly branched or regularly pinnate, not or scarcely complanate-foliate; in cross-section without hyalodermis, without central strand; paraphyllia none; pseudoparaphyllia foliose; axillary hairs with 1--2 short brown basal cells, 2--5 rectangular hyaline distal cells or 4--8 oblate brown cells and a single elongate hyaline distal cell. Leaves appressed when dry, spreading when moist, lanceolate to oblong-ovate, gradually to abrubtly short- to long-acuminate, not or slightly concave, not plicate, sometimes auriculate; margins sometimes limbate from elongate cells, serrate to subentire above, serrulate to entire below, +/- recurved near shoulders and broadly incurved below, or sometimes plane throughout; costa single, subpercurrent to excurrent; cells short- to long-hexagonal, bulging to minutely but distinctly prorulose at both ends on both sides of the leaf, firm-walled, not or strongly porose; alar cells weakly differentiated to numerous, subquadrate to oblate, collenchymatous, not reaching the costa. Specialized asexual reproduction by flagellate branches. Dioicous. Setae short, from a hairy vaginula. Capsules emersed to emergent; annulus not differentiated; operculum long-rostrate; peristome single (lacking endostome) or double; exostome teeth smooth; endostome from a very low basal membrance, segments smooth, cilia none. Spores spherical to irregularly shaped, large, smooth to roughened. Calyptrae mitrate or cucullate, densely hairy.
Genera 3, species 6 (1 genus, 1 species
in the flora): East Africa and
The Rutenbergiaceae are primarily a family of East African mosses. The inclusion of Pseudocryphaea in the family is based primarily on molecular data, in part because it is not known fertile.
selected reference Buck, W. R., B. Goffinet & A. J. Shaw. 2000. Testing morphological concepts of orders of pleurocarpous mosses (Bryophyta) using phylogenetic reconstructions based on trnL-trnF and rps4 sequences. Molec. Phylogenet. Evol. 16: 180--198.
1. PSEUDOCRYPHAEA E. Britton ex Brotherus in A. Engler, Nat. Pflanzenfam. ed. 2, 11: 98. 1925 * [Latin pseudo, false, and genus Cryphaea]
William R. Buck
Plants often slender but rather robust, in green to golden, mostly thin but sometimes extensive, epiphytic colonies. Primary stems creeping, slender, inconspicuous, with reduced, scale-like leaves, sympodially branched, secondary stems ± erect, irregularly branched or often regularly pinnate, often curved when dry with branches turned to one side, not or scarcely complanate-foliate; paraphyllia none; pseudoparaphyllia foliose; axillary hairs with 1(--2) short brown basal cells, 4--8 oblate, brown intercalary cells and a single elongate hyaline distal cell. Leaves of secondary stems and branches similar, appressed and ± julaceous when dry, spreading when moist, lanceolate to oblong-ovate, gradually short-acuminate, not or slightly concave, not plicate, short-decurrent; margins subentire to serrulate distally, entire proximally, mostly plane, sometimes revolute; costa single, subpercurrent to percurrent; laminal cells long-hexagonal, minutely but distinctly prorulose at both ends on both sides of the leaf, firm-walled, not or scarcely porose, becoming smooth and porose toward the yellowed insertion; alar cells numerous, subquadrate to oblate, collenchymatous, not reaching the costa. Specialized asexual reproduction by flagellate branches, often produced in upper leaf axils, slender, usually unbranched, with small ecostate leaves. Gametangia and sporophytes not seen.
Species 1 (1
on the flora): North America (
Pseudocryphaea is easily recognized by its julaceous habit with numerous, very slender flagellate branches. The leaves are unicostate with relatively long cells that are minutely prorulose at both ends. Although the prorulae are small (H. A. Crum and L. E. Anderson, 1981: 771, cited the cells as smooth), they are easily seen at 400\x since they are relatively elongate, although slender. The alar cells are extensively developed and subquadrate to oblate.
1. Pseudocryphaea domingensis (Sprengel) W. R. Buck, Bryologist 83: 455. 1980  F
domingensis Sprengel, Syst. Veg. 4(1): 185.
1827; Leucodon domingensis
(Sprengel) Mitten; Pterigynandrum domingense (Sprengel) Hampe; Pseudocryphaea flagellifera
Plants to ca. 6 cm, but often shorter. Stems in section with 1 external row of enlarged reddish firm-walled cells, subtended by ca. 5 rows of small thick-walled reddish cells surrounding larger thinner-walled hyaline cells, central strand none; pseudoparaphyllia narrowly to broadly foliose, when broad often incised; axillary hairs apparently 2 per axil (1 per axil in flagellate branch leaves), the single elongate hyaline distal cell often with granular contents. Leaves 1--1.7(--2) mm; laminal cells ca. 6--8:1; alar cells extending up the margins by 30--40 cells. Specialized asexual reproduction by flagellate branches to 4--5 mm, ca. 0.07 mm in diameter including leaves; leaves ca. 0.2 mm, cells ca. 3--4:1, alar cells few.
tree trunks, less often rocks, fairly dry to mesic forests; 0--1200 m;
Pseudocryphaea domingensis is distinctive among North American mosses by the combination of julaceous stems, flagellate branches, and unicostate leaves with elongate, prorulose cells, and is unlikely to be confused with any other moss. Depauperate, eflagellate plants have been misnamed Henicodium geniculatum, but in that species the costa ends well before the apex and the cells are unipapillose over the lumina.