BFNA Title: Claopodium
Author: J. Harpel
Date: March 16, 2010
Edit Level: R
Version: 1

Bryophyte Flora of North America, Provisional Publication
Missouri Botanical Garden

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Claopodium - Leskeaceae


XX. CLAOPODIUM (Lesquereux & James) Renauld & Cardot, Revue Bryologique 20: 16. 1893 * [Greek clao, clado, branch or sprout and podi, podium foot]


Judith A. Harpel

Plants small to medium sized, light to dark green creeping mats.  Stems smooth to strongly papillose, irregularly to regularly pinnately branched; paraphyllia absent or few, small, scale-like or squamiform, rhizoids sparse, often arising from base of leaves, older stems becoming somewhat stoloniferous. Leaves of stems and branches not much differentiated, crisped, incurved to slightly contorted when dry, erect and spreading wet, ovate, oblong-ovate or lanceolate from a broad base, gradually or abruptly acuminate, with or without a hair-point, lamina not plicate; costa single, pellucid, straight distally; leaf margins plane, serrate or entire; distal and medial cells quadrate-hexagonal, oblong to rhomboidal, 1--2:1, with one to many papillae on both surfaces of the cell, alar cells not differentiated, juxtacostal cells elongate, mostly smooth; branch leaves similar but often smaller. Specialized asexual reproduction lacking. Sexual condition dioicous; perichaetial leaves pale translucent, longer and more acuminate.  Seta to 2 cm, smooth or rough. Capsule brown, oblong-oval with a short neck, inclined to horizontal, asymmetric; operculum conic-rostrate to long-rostrate; annulus deciduous, of 2--3 rows of cells; peristome double, exostome teeth densely cross striate-papillose basally, papillose distally, bordered, endostome membrane high, segments slender, keeled, perforate, cilia long, nodose. Calyptra cucullate, smooth. Spores small, smooth or papillose.


Species 8 (4 in the flora): w North America, w Europe, e Asia, Pacific Islands (Hawaii).


Claopodium is a genus of small prostrate plants with creeping stems, short, papillose laminal cells, pellucid costa, and asymmetric capsules with well developed peristome.  The genus is somewhat heterogeneous, as C. whippleanum lacks hair-points and superficially is similar to Leskea. Recent phylogenetic work suggests that Claopodium is related to Anomodon.


SELECTED REFERENCES  Noguchi, A. 1964. A revision of the genus Claopodium. J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 27: 20--46. Johnsen, A. B. 1969. Additions to the moss flora of Arizona. Bryologist 72: 397. Johnsen, A.B. 1978.  Keys to the mosses of Arizona.  Museum of Northern Arizona MNA Research Paper 14.  Biology Research Report 1. Flagstaff, Arizona. Noguchi, A. 1991. Illustrated Moss Flora of Japan Part 4: 842--950. Hattori Botanical Laboratory Miyazaki-ken, Japan.  Lawton, E. 1971. Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest. Hattori Botanical Laboratory, Miyazaki-ken, Japan.



1.  Branch and stem cells papillose; leaf cells pluripapillose; leaves ending in a hair-point ………………………………………………………………..1.  Claopodium pellucinerve

1.  Branch and stem cells smooth; leaf cells pluripapillose or 1-papillose, leaves with or without hair-points

            2.  Leaves without hair-points; leaf cells with a single large

            papillae per cell  ……………………………………..2. Claopodium whippleanum

            2. Leaves with hair-points, leaf cells with one or more papillae.

                        3.  Branch and stem leaf cells 1-papillose …..3. Claopodium crispifolium

                        3.  Branch and stem leaf cells pluripapillose ……4. Claopodium bolanderi



1.  Claopodium pellucinerve (Mitten) Best, Bryologist 3: 19. 1900


Leskea pellucinervis Mitten, J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot., Suppl. 2: 130. 1859; Claopodium subpiiliferum (Lindberg & Arnell (Brotherus)


Plants  small, dark-green to yellowish green, irregularly branched, forming loose mats to 4.5 cm. Stems densely papillose with small papillae; paraphyllia few, scale-like.  Leaves 1--1.5 mm, ovate-lanceolate, ending in a flexuous acumen tapering into a hair-point; margins entire, not differentiated as narrower cells; costa to about 3/4\x length of leaf, papillose abaxially surface; distal medial cells elliptical to rhomboidal, about 15--25 x 8--13 \um, densely papillose with multiple papillae; branch leaves similar but slightly smaller.  Sexual condition dioicous.  Seta reddish brown, 12--15 mm, smooth.  Capsule oblong, inclined to horizontal, 1--2 mm; operculum conic, short-rostrate.  Spores 15--21 \um, lightly papillose.


Usually in pockets or crevices of shaded cliffs, or on limestone boulders, occasionally on humus at the base of cliffs; low to high elevations; B.C. (Queen Charlotte Islands), Yukon; Alaska, N.Mex.; Mexico; Asia (China; India; Japan; Korea, Pakistan).


A collection of C. pellucinerve reported from Arizona (Johnsen 1969, 1978) was determined to be Anomodon rostratus.  In southwestern United States C. pellucinerve can be confused with small, depauperate material of A. rostratus.  Claopodium pellucinerve is distinguished from A. rostratus by inclined capsule, plane leaf margins, and simple papillae as opposed to erect capsule, revolute leaf margins, and slightly branched papillae.


 2.  Claopodium whippleanum (Sullivant) Renauld & Cardot, Revue Bryologique 20: 16. 1893


Hypnum whippleanum Sullivant, Expl. Railroad Mississippi Pacific, Descr. Moss Liverw. 4 (5): 190. 9. 1856;  Claopodium whippleanum var. leuconeuron (Sullivant & Lesquereux) Grout


Plants small, dark green to yellowish brown, in mats to 4 cm, irregularly pinnately branched. Stems smooth, paraphyllia absent; slightly contorted when dry often appearing slightly flattened. Leaves to 1 mm, ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, gradually tapering to a narrow point, hair-point absent, margins serrate throughout; distal medial cells linear-rhomboidal, 9--15 x 5--6 \um, 1-papillose on both surfaces; costa ending before the apex, smooth abaxially; branch leaves smaller, to 0.5 mm, ovate-lanceolate, gradually acuminate, serrate throughout.  Sexual condition dioicous.  Seta to 1 cm, rough. Capsule oblong-oval, 2--3 mm, constricted below the mouth when dry; horizontal; annulus deciduous;  operculum short, broadly conic. Spores 9--2 \um, smooth. 


Mainly on exposed soil, soil over rock or rarely on logs, or tree roots; low to moderate elevations; Alta., B.C.; AZ, Calif., Nev., Oreg., Wash.; Mexico; Europe (Portugal); Pactific Islands (Hawaii).


3.  Claopodium crispifolium (Hooker) Renauld & Cardot.,  Revue Bryologique 20: 16. 1893


Hypnum crispifolium Hooker. Musci Exotica 1: 31. 1818


Plants green to yellowish green often appearing brownish, medium sized, to 8 cm, more or less pinnately branching, forming loose stoloniferous mats. Stems smooth, paraphyllia absent.  Leaves to 3 mm, forming a long acuminate hair-point from an ovate base; crisped to incurved when dry, erect-spreading when moist; margins plane, serrate by 1--2 rows of oblong to rhomboidal smooth cells; costa ending before the acumen, smooth abaxially; distal medial cells hexagonal or subquadrate, 8--8.5 \um, 1-papillose with large papillae. Branch leaves similar but somewhat smaller.  Sexual condition dioicous.  Seta 1--2 cm, rough. Capsule inclined to almost horizontal, oblong asymmetric, 1.5--3 mm; operculum long rostrate. Spores  9--12 \um, smooth.


Mainly on rotten logs, tree bases, on soil over rocks; low to moderate elevations; Alta; B.C.; Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Oreg., Wash.; Asia (Japan; Russian Far East).


 4.  Claopodium bolanderi Best, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 24:  431. 1897


Plants green to yellow-green, forming thin irregularly branching mats to 6 cm. Stems smooth, paraphyllia when present, small, squamiform.  Leaves to 1.6 mm, ending in a long narrow hyaline hair-point from a broadly ovate base; margins serrate; distal medial cells short, isodiametric, 6--8 \um, pluripapillose on both surfaces; marginal cells slightly differentiated; costa ending before the apex, smooth abaxially; branch leaves similar but smaller.  Sexual condition dioicous.  Seta 1--1.5 cm, rough. Capsule short, broadly oval to suborbicular, 1.2--1.8 mm, shrunken below the mouth when dry; operculum long-rostrate.   Spores 12--15 \um, smooth. 


Mainly on rocks, or soil over rocks; moderate to high elevations; Alta.; B.C.; Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Oreg., Wash.; Asia (Russia in Commander Islands).