The Moss Families of the British Isles


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


In Dixon’s Hypnaceae.

Gametophyte. Pleurocarpous; forming tufts (the large, glossy, golden-yellow, dense tufts readily falling apart). Primary stems procumbent (stoloniform, the secondary stems crowded, erect, julaceous when moist, to about 6 cm). Paraphyllia absent. Pseudoparaphyllia absent. Stems without a differentiated central strand. The leaves oblong to ovate (imbricate, glossy, very concave); spiral; nerveless. Leaf blade apices pointed; acuminate. Leaf blade margins distally involute or incurved (flat below); denticulate. The basal leaf cells somewhat longitudinally elongated to longitudinally much elongated; hexagonal; smooth. The walls of basal leaf cells thick; sinuous. The angular cells clearly differentiated (forming slight auricles). The mid-leaf cells longitudinally much elongated; vermicular; smooth. The walls of the mid-leaf cells thick; sinuous.

Sporophyte. Capsules exserted; symmetrical; straight; ellipsoid; without an annulus. Calyptra symmetrical; splitting down one side. Capsules dehiscing via a lid; with a peristome. The peristome double. The peristome teeth thin, membranous, and transversely barred (not papillose). The inner peristome reduced; with a basal membranous ring (or consisting of the short membrane only); without “processes”. The operculum rostellate. Setae long, smooth.

Ecology. Growing on soil.

British representation. 1 species. Myurium (Hare-tail Moss). Northern Scotland (common in the Outer Hebrides, less so in the Inner Hebrides, also occurring on the coast of W. Inverness and W. Sutherland).

Classification. Class Bryopsida; Subclass Bryideae; Order Hypnales.

Comments. The leaves cochleariform, contracted into a long, linear-piliform point, basally hollowed and somewhat auricled.

Illustrations. • Myuriaceae (Myuria), and Theliaceae (Myurella): Dixon. Myurium hochstetteri. MYURIACEAE. Myurella julacea. THELIACEAE. Myurella tenerrima.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2005 onwards. The moss families of the British Isles. Version: 21st June 2009.’.