BFNA Title: Ptilidium
Author: Lorinda Leonardi
Date: April 18, 2002
Edit Level: R Brum+
Version: 1

Bryophyte Flora of North America, Provisional Publication
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14211 USA
www.buffalomuseumofscience.org/BFNA/bfnamenu.htm

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PTILIDIUM - PTILIDIACEAE

x. PTILIDIUM Nees, Naturgesch. Eur. Leberm. 1: 95. 1833 • Greek ptilon, soft feather, and idion little

Lorinda Leonardi

Stem with lateral branches; surface structures absent. Rhizoids hyaline, at underleaf bases but mostly absent. Lateral leaves incubous-transverse, mostly imbricate but also contiguous, asymmetric, concave, unequally 3--5-lobed; leaf lobes triangular, becoming progressively smaller as approach and sheath the ventral portion of stem; margins ciliate or entire; cilia from a single- or multi-cellular base; apices of lobes ciliate; leaf cells smooth, thick-walled, trigones bulging to nodular; cells at bases of largest lobe orbicular, 20--50 µm wide; cells of cilia elongate, collenchymatous; ocelli absent; stoloniferous branches absent; oil-bodies mostly spherical. Underleaves large but smaller than leaves, mostly symmetric, 2--4 distinct or reduced acuminate lobes; margins and apices densely ciliate; cilia from a single- or multi-cellular base. Specialized asexual reproduction absent. Sexual condition dioicous, antheridial plants smaller than archegonial plants. Androecia terminal or intercalary on primary and secondary branches; bracts similar to leaves but smaller, more closely imbricate, and more concave; bracteoles similar to underleaves but smaller, without antheridia; antheridia orbicular, hyaline, bronze or green, 0.2--0.3 mm, 1--(2) per bract; jacket cells isodiametric; stalk 1-seriate, 12--18 cells long. Gynoecia terminal on primary branches; innovational branches absent; 1--3 bract cycles per archegonium; bracts not connate; bracts and bracteoles larger, more densely ciliate and more shallowly lobed than leaves and underleaves, not adnate; stem derived protective structure absent. Perianths inflated, exerted, elliptical to obovate, with 1--4 plicae, mouth ciliate, 1-stratose with few 2-stratose patches throughout; perigynia absent. Sporophytes with foot V-shaped, ca. 0.6 mm; seta length variable, 10--14 cells in diameter; capsule ovoid, 4-valved, wall of 4--6 cell layers with nodular, semiannular, and annular thickenings. Elaters free, 2 spiraled, 0.1--0.2 mm, gold-bronze. Spores orbicular, papillose, bronze.

Species 3 (3 in the flora): most common in northern regions.

SELECTED REFERENCES: Schuster, R. M. 1966. Ptilidium. In: R. M. Schuster. 1966--1993. Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America East of the Hundredth Meridian. New York. Vol. 1, pp. 760--780.

1. Largest lobe of leaves 14--25 cells wide at base, 0.3--0.6 ´ leaf length; stem epidermal cells smaller and walls thicker than medullary cells . . . . 1. Ptilidium ciliare

1. Largest lobe of leaves 6--11 cells wide at base, 0.6--0.8 ´ leaf length; stem epidermal and medullary cells usually similar in size and wall thickness.

2. Leaf margin densely ciliate; largest lobe of leaves with 6--13 cilia . . . . 2. Ptilidium pulcherrimum

2. Leaf margin entire to sparsely ciliate; largest lobe of leaves with 0--2(4) cilia . . . . 3. Ptilidium californicum

 

1. Ptilidium ciliare (L.) Hampe, Prodrom. Fl. Hercyn.: 76. 1836

Jungermannia ciliaris L., Sp. Pl. (ed. 1) 2: 1134. 1753

Plants often yellow-green, green or red, 2--6 cm, usually with ascending branches, growing loosely over substrate in tufted mats or patches. Stem diameter 0.3--0.4 mm, 1--2(3) pinnate, epidermis 2--3 cells wide, medulla 7--10 cells wide, cells of epidermis smaller, thicker-walled than those of medulla. Lateral leaves 1.4--2.3 mm (including ciliate lobes), lobes 3--5(6), 17--25 cells wide at base, margin densely to sparsely ciliate, cilia without or rarely with bulging cells. Largest lobe of leaves 0.6--1.4 ´ 0.3--1.0 mm, 0.3--0.6 ´ leaf length, 14--25 cells wide at base, cilia 0--25, cilia shorter than or equal to width of lobe base; smallest lobes more densely ciliate. Underleaves flat to squarrose-recurved, 0.8--1.3 mm (including ciliate lobes), 16--23 cells wide at base. Gynoecia bracts 1.6--2.4 mm. Perianths 4.0--6.0 mm. Elaters 5--8 µm wide. Spores 25--35 µm.

Common in dry tundra, mountain summits, and acid wetlands, also coniferous, deciduous and mixed upland and lowland forests, dry thin soil over rock surfaces or humus, rarely on tree bases and logs; 0--1900 m; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.W.T., N.S., Nun., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon; Greenland; Alaska, Conn., Maine, Mass., Mich.. Minn., N.H., N.Y., Pa., S.Dak., Vt., Wash., Wis.; South America (Tierra del Fuego), Eurasia, Pacific Islands (New Zealand).

Ptilidium ciliare is rarely found with sporophytes. For ease of species identification and to avoid occasional confusion with Ptilidium pulcherrimum, it is recommended that leaves from the main stems be examined. Sparsely ciliate specimens can be seperated from Ptilidium californicum by the wider leaf lobes.

2. Ptilidium pulcherrimum (Weber) Vain., Meddeland. Soc. Fauna Fl. Fenn. 3: 88. 1878

Jungermannia pulcherrima Weber, Spicil. Fl. Goetting, p. 150. 1778

Plants often green, brown or sometimes red, 1--3 cm, usually prostrate and growing closely adherent to substrate in dense patches. Stem diameter 0.2--0.3 mm, 1--2(3) pinnate, epidermis 1--2 cells wide, medulla 4--6 cells wide, cells of epidermis and medulla usually similar in size and wall thickness. Lateral leaves 0.9--1.4 mm (including ciliate lobes), lobes 3--4, 8--13 cells wide at base, margin densely ciliate, cilia often with many bulging cells. Largest lobe of leaves 0.6--0.9 ´ 0.2--0.3 mm, 0.6--0.8 ´ leaf length, 6--11 cells wide at base, cilia 6--13, cilia longer than width of lobe base; smallest lobes comparably ciliate. Underleaves flat or concave, 0.4--0.8 mm (including ciliate lobes), 8--16 cells wide at base. Gynoecia bracts 1.2--2 mm. Perianths 2.4--4 mm. Elaters 5--7 µm wide. Spores 25--30 µm.

Conferous, deciduous, and mixed lowland and upland forests, wetlands, disturbed areas, and tundra, bark and bases of coniferous and deciduous trees, logs, tree stumps, and less commonly rock surfaces and soil; 0--1900 m; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., Tenn., Va., Vt., Wash., W.Va., Wis.; Eurasia, Atlantic Islands.

Ptilidium pulcherrimum often produces sporophytes. It is a very common pioneer species on tree bark in forests of the Northeast. The species occasionally grows intermixed with P. ciliare or P. californicum.

3. Ptilidium californicum (Austin) Underwood & O. F. Cook, Hepaticae Americanae 69. 1890

Lepidozia californica Austin, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 6: 19. 1875

Plants often green or red, 1.5--2.5 cm, usually prostrate and growing closely adherent to substrate in patches. Stem diameter 0.2--0.3 mm, 1--2 pinnate, epidermis 1--2 cells wide, medulla 4--7 cells wide, cells of epidermis and medulla usually similar in size and wall thickness. Lateral leaves 1.1--1.8 mm (including ciliate lobes), lobes 3--5, 8--16 cells wide at base, margin entire to sparsely ciliate, cilia without bulging cells. Largest lobe of leaves 0.7--1.1 ´ 0.2--0.3 mm, 0.6--0.8 ´ leaf length, 6--11 cells wide at base, cilia 0--2(4), cilia usually longer than width of lobe base; smallest lobes comparably ciliate. Underleaves flat, 0.6--1.0 mm (including ciliate lobes), 7--14 cells wide at base. Gynoecia bracts 1.8--2.5 mm. Perianths 3.0--5.0 mm. Elaters 10--13 µm wide. Spores 25--35 µm.

Upland to lowland forests and coastal areas, mostly bases and logs of coniferous and deciduous trees but extending up boles, bark, branches, rarely on rock surfaces and soil; 0--1800 m; B.C.; Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Oreg., Wash.; Asia.

Ptilidium californicum is a western species occurring from northern California to Alaska. This species occasionally grows intermixed with Ptilidium pulcherrimum and very rarely with Ptilidium ciliare.