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Published In: Bulletin de l'Herbier Boissier 5: 204. 1897. (Bull. Herb. Boissier) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/5/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 10/8/2017)
Plant Category: Mosses
General Reference:

Notes     (Last Modified On 10/8/2017)
Orthostichella contains nine species in Africa and tropical America. The genus is distinguished by the slender stems and branches, and concave, ovate to obovate imbricate leaves that may or may not be slightly auriculate, ecostate or mixed with some leaves costate; when present costa short, forked or single, and few non-excavate subquadrate alar cells. The aspect of Orthostichella may be confused with Squamidium, but the presence of a consistant slender single costa and excavate alaar regions with numerous cells. Members of this genus were previously in Pilotrichella. In this treatment Pilotrichella is distinguished by the larger plants, auriculate leaf base, without costa, strongly porose lamina cells, and excavate alar cells. Unfortunately the collections on loan from different institutions of Pilotrichella (in part Orthostichella) were entered into Tropicos before the revision and not updated at the completion of the study; it is best to disregard all entered collections in Tropicos except those designated at MO. The treatment follows Allen and Magill (2007).
Orthostichella contiene nueve especies en África y América tropical. El género se distingue por los tallos y ramas delgadas, hojas cóncavas, ovadas hasta obovadas imbricadas, rectas, redondeadas o auriculadas, ecostadas o mezcladas con algunas hojas con costa; cuando presente costa corta, bifurcada o simple, y pocas células alares subcuadradas no-excavadas. Por su aspecto Orthostichella puede ser confundida con Squamidium, pero la presencia de una costa alargada, delgada y muchas células alares excavadas, ayudan a diferenciar este género. Miembros de este género fueron localizados previamente en Pilotrichella. En este tratamiento, Pilotrichella se distingue por las plantas de mayor tamaño, bases de las hojas marcadamente auriculadas, sin costa, células de la lámina marcadamente porosas y células alares excavadas. Desafortunadamente las colecciones de Pilotrichella (y parcialmente Orthostichella) en préstamo de diferentes instituciones fueron ingresadas a Tropicos antes de su revisión y la información no ha sido actualizada al terminarse el estudio; es mejor ignorar todas las colecciones ingresadas a Tropicos excepto aquellas pertenecientes a MO. Este tratamiento  concuerda con Allen y Magill (2007). Este tratamiento sigue Allen y Magill (2007).


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Plants pale olive to dark green, somewhat small, soft, pale green or yellowish green. Primary stems creeping; leaves appressed to erect, lanceolate, to 1 mm long, acuminate. Secondary stems usually pendent, freely branching; central strand absent. Leaves erect-spreading, ovate to short obovate, (0.5–)1–1.4 mm long, deeply concave, acute to short acuminate, base weakly auriculate; margins plane, serrulate mostly 1/2–1/3 lamina length; costa absent, rarely weakly short and either single or double; laminal cells smooth, median cells linear, ± vermicular; apical cells short; basal cells golden-yellow; alar region weakly differentiated, cells few, subquadrate to short oblong-rectangular, golden-yellow. Dioicous. Perichaetial leaves sheathing, oblong-acuminate, to 2 mm long. Setae rather short, to 4.3 mm long, ± curved, smooth, yellow to pale orange-yellow. Capsules exserted, erect, urn ovoid, to 1.2 mm long; opercula conic-rostrate, oblique; peristome with exostome teeth papillose; endostome basal membrane low, segments narrow, papillose, perforate to base. Calyptrae not observed. Spores papillose.


Plantas verde oliva pálidas hasta oscuras, algo pequeñas, suaves, verde pálidas o verde amarillentas. Tallos primario reptantes; hojas adpresas hasta erectas, lanceoladas, hasta 1 mm de largo, acuminadas. Tallos secundarios generalmente pendientes, ocasionalmente dendroides, libremente ramificados; sin cordón central. Hojas erecto-extendidas, ovadas hasta corto obovadas, 1–1.4 mm de largo, profundamente cóncavas, agudas hasta corto-acuminadas, base indiferenciada hasta redondeada o auriculada; márgenes planos, distalmente serrulados hasta subenteros; costa débilmente corta,  simple, bifurcada y algunas hojas sin costa; células de la lámina lisas, células mediales lineales, ± vermiculares; células apicales cortas; células basales a menudo amarillo-doradas; región alar débil hasta conspicuamente diferenciada, células subcuadradas hasta corto oblongo-rectangulares, algunas veces amarillo-doradas. Dioicas. Hojas periqueciales envainadoras, oblongo-acuminadas, hasta 2 mm de largo. Setas bastante cortas, hasta 4.5 mm de largo, ± curvadas y lisas. Cápsulas excertas, erectas, urna ovoide, hasta 1.2 mm de largo; opérculo cónico-rostrado, oblicuo; peristoma con dientes del exostoma papilosos; membrana basal del endostoma baja, segmentos angostos, papilosos, perforados en la base. Caliptra no observada. Esporas papilosas.


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Keys adapted from Allen & Magill (2007).


1. Plants with deciduous leaves … O. pachygastrella

1. Plants without deciduous leaves … 2.

2. Branch leaves straight or somewhat rounded to the insertion … O. versicolor

2. Branch leaves strongly rounded or auriculate to the insertion … 3.

3. Stems weakly branched; stem and branch leaves strongly clasping and auriculate at base; stem and branches julaceous-foliate … O. muelleri

3. Stems strongly branched; stem and branch leaves spreading and moderately auriculate at base; stem and branches not julaceous-foliate … O. rigida



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