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Cryphaeaceae Schimper

William D. Reese

Plants small to medium in size, mostly dull, with creeping primary stems bearing spreading to pendent branches, mostly brownish-green. Stems irregularly branched; paraphyllia lacking; pseudoparaphyllia lacking; axillary hairs 2--4 per axil, of 1--2 short proximal cells with brownish walls and 1--3 elongate distal cells. Branches short to elongate, simple to much-branched, terete. Leaves spirally inserted, imbricate, rapidly spreading when moistened, mostly ovate-acuminate, margins entire, or serrate distally, apex mostly acute; costa single; medial cells rhomboidal to fusiform, smooth to prorulose; alar cells rounded to quadrate. Sexual condition autoicous. Perigonia gemmiform, small, axillary. Perichaetia gemmiform, axillary or terminal on branches. Seta single, very short. Capsule immersed, erect, symmetric, stomates scanty, proximal; annulus usually revoluble; operculum conic-rostrate; peristome mostly double, pale; exostome of 16 teeth; endostome of 16 small linear segments or lacking, cilia lacking. Calyptra mitrate or subcucullate, smooth to papillose. Spores spherical, mostly granular to papillose, sometimes smooth.

Genera 8--10, species ca. 60--70 (2 genera, 5 species in the flora): worldwide, primarily tropical and subtropical regions.

The Cryphaeaceae are defined by the combination of creeping primary stems with firm spreading-erect branches, immersed capsule, corticolous habitat, dull aspect, and pale peristome. The vegetative leaves of many of the species of this family are very similar. The Cryphaeaceae as treated here comprise only Cryphaea and Schoenobryum. Several closely related genera in the family occur outside of the flora area (cf. H. Akiyama 1990; M. G. Manuel 1981). Other genera of the flora area, e.g., Alsia, Dendroalsia, and Forsstroemia, have been included in the concept of the Cryphaeaceae by various authors, e.g., M. R. Crosby and R. E. Magill (1981), but are here assigned to other families: Alsia and Dendroalsia in the Leucodontaceae and Forsstroemia in the Leptodontaceae.


Akiyama, H. 1990. Morphology and taxonomic significance of dormant branch primordia, dormant buds, and vegetative reproductive organs in the suborders Leucodontineae and Neckerineae (Musci, Isobryales). Bryologist 93: 395--408. Crosby, M. R. and R. E. Magill. 1981. A Dictionary of Mosses. Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 3. St. Louis. Manuel, M. G. 1974. A revised classification of the Leucodontaceae and a revision of the subfamily Alsioideae. Bryologist 77: 531--550. Manuel, M. G. 1981. Studies in Cryphaeaceae V. A revision of the family in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 49: 115--140.


Buck, W. R. 1994. Three additions to the United States moss flora. Bryologist 97: 89-90.
Grout, A. J. 1934. Cryphaeaceae. In: A. J. Grout, ed. Moss Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Vol. 3, pp. 222--226. Newfane, Vt. and New York.
Rao, P. 2001. Taxonomic studies on Cryphaea (Cryphaeaceae, Bryopsida). 3. Revision of European, African, Australian and Oceanian, and American species. Bryobrothera 7: 37--111.
Reese, W. D. 1995. Campylostelium saxicola new to Indiana, Cryphaea ravenelii new to Virginia, comments on Cryphaea filiformis and Schoenobryum concavifolium in Florida, a note on A. J. Grout's North American Musci Perfecti number 218, and an observation on O. E. Jenning's illustration for Ptychomitrium incurvum. Evansia 12: 157--160.
Sharp, A. J. H. Crum and P. M. Eckel. 1994. The Moss Flora of Mexico. 2 vols. New York.

1 Perichaetia lateral; peristome double (single in C. ravenelii).   Cryphaea
+ Perichaetia terminal; peristome single.   Schoenobryum

Lower Taxa


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