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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 28 | Sematophyllaceae

2. Sematophyllum Mitten, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 8: 5. 1864. • [Greek sematos, mark, and phyllon, leaf, alluding to inflated row of alar cells].

Wilfred B. Schofield

Plants small to large, green, yellow-green, golden yellow, or golden brown, glossy or dull. Stems0.3-5 cm, not complanate-foliate, irregularly branched. Leaves erect-spreading to falcate-secund, often homomallous, oblong-lanceolate, oblong-ovate, or ovate; margins entire; apex acute to acuminate; ecostate or costa double; alar cells elongate, somewhat to strongly enlarged and inflated, pigmented or rarely unpigmented, walls thin, region in 1-several rows, middle lamella not apparent, supra-alar cells differentiated; laminal cells rhomboidal, elliptic, or flexuose, smooth. Sexual condition autoicous [dioicous]. Seta 0.4-2 cm. Capsule inclined to horizontal or rarely erect, short-cylindric; exothecial cell walls collenchymatous; operculum rostrate.

Species ca. 50 (4 in the flora): nearly worldwide; temperate to pantropical regions.

As W. R. Buck (1998b) has noted, Sematophyllum is a catch-all genus in need of a world monograph; however, the four North American species are reasonably treated in Sematophyllum. The genus is confined to eastern forests in the flora area, and introduced to California, where it is rare. The plants have red-brown stems with foliose pseudoparaphyllia; the medial laminal cells are rhomboidal to flexuose.

1 Leaves tapering abruptly to apex; plants dull.   4 Sematophyllum subpinnatum
+ Leaves tapering gradually to apex; plants glossy   (2)
2 (1) Plants medium-sized to large; leaves 1.5-2 mm; alar cells in several rows; usually on rock.   3 Sematophyllum marylandicum
+ Plants small to medium-sized; leaves usually less than 1.4 mm; alar cells in 1 row; epiphytic or occasionally on rock   (3)
3 (2) Capsules erect; growing on wood, logs, tree bases, occasionally rock.   1 Sematophyllum adnatum
+ Capsules inclined to horizontal; commonly growing on rock near streams.   2 Sematophyllum demissum

Lower Taxa


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