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30. Symblepharis Mont., Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 2. 8: 252. 1837.


Plants fairly coarse to robust, 3–6 cm high, olive green above, dark brown below, in dense tufts. Stems erect, usually branched, radiculose at the base; central strand present. Leaves linear- to oblong-lanceolate, gradually to suddenly narrowed from an erect, obovate, usually sheathing or clasping base, crispate when dry, widely spreading to somewhat to strongly squarrose when moist; margins entire, usually recurved; costa narrow, percurrent to shortly excurrent, smooth at back, with 2 stereid bands in transverse section; upper cells small, quadrate to short-rectangular, thick-walled, smooth; basal cells elongate-rectangular, hyaline, rather thin-walled; alar cells not differentiated. Autoicous or dioicous. Perichaetial leaves sheathing at base, abruptly subulate above. Setae single or clustered, short to elongate, straight, terminal, usually becoming lateral because of innovations; capsules erect, ovoid-cylindric; opercula long-rostrate; annuli none or present; peristome teeth irregularly divided, papillose. Calyptrae cucullate, entire at the base. Spores spherical, smooth.

There are about 10 species of Symblepharis in the world. Most species are distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions. Three species are known from China.

Symblepharis is similar to Oncophorus in the overall gametophytic features, but it differs from the latter in having erect, non-strumose capsules. It is also similar to Holomitrium in having erect capsules, distinctly clasping leaf bases, and well differentiated upper and lower leaf cells. Holomitrium, however, differs in having undivided peristome teeth, somewhat differentiated alar cells, and a pseudoatuoicous sexual condition.

1 Plants 5-6 cm high, nearly always sterile; leaves somewhat squarrose when moist, slightly clasping at the base   1 Symblepharis oncophoroides
+ Plants 1-4(-5) cm high, usually fertile; leaves strongly squarrose when moist, strongly clasping at the base   (2)
2 (1) Dioicous; setae less than 7 mm long, sometimes as short as 2-3 mm long, usually single; capsules oblong-ovoid; median leaf cells porose   2 Symblepharis reinwardtii
+ Autoicous; setae usually more than 10 mm long, usually 3-4 clustered; capsules elongate-cylindric; median leaf cells not porose   3 Symblepharis vaginata

Lower Taxa


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