E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Schistidium apocarpum ssp. apocarpum(Hedw.) B. & S. in B.S.G.
no common name

Species Account Author: Wilf Schofield
Extracted from Some Common Mosses of British Columbia

Introduction to the Bryophytes of BC
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E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Schistidium apocarpum ssp. apocarpum
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Species Information

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Illustration Source: Some Common Mosses of BC

Species description:
Genus name denoting that the operculum breaks away, carrying the columella with it. Species meaning that the sporangia are free or separate, the meaning of which is obscure in this context.
Sporophytes frequent, red-brown when mature and with bright red peristome teeth that flare outward when dry; maturing in spring to summer.
Sometimes called Grimmia apocarpa, a synonym. Some authors divide S. apocarpum into many species which are distinguished from each other by microscopic features only.
Forming tufts or mats of dark green to red-brown, irregularly branched plants varying from 10-100 mm tall, usually firmly affixed to substratum by rhizoids at the base of the shoots.
Similar Species:
em>S. apocarum shows considerable variability, the var. strictum being the most frequent expression in the province. The plants of strictum tend to be irregularly branched, reddish-brown and form loose turfs over rock. Plants of crevices, however, are darker green and are densely tufted; on rock surfaces of the semi-arid interior, plants are often a rich red-brown. The immersed sporangia with brilliant red teeth are striking. White hair points are usually frequent in the upper leaves of the shoots and in the leaves around the sporangia. Similar Species: S. rivulare usually has dark green to nearly black leaves that are bluntish tipped, rather than sharply tipped as in S. apocarpum. S. rivulare is confined to irrigated or splashed rock surfaces while S. apocarpum is most frequent away from water bodies. S. mariĀ­timum, of seaside rock crevices, forms dense tufts and is dark green with leaves usually twice the length of those in S. apocarpum. The usual presĀ­ence of immersed sporangia in Schistidium separates this genus from Racomitrium in which sporophytes have long setae.

Habitat / Range

On sunny rock surfaces and crevices from sea level to alpine elevations.
World Distribution

Circumpolar in the Northern Hemisphere and widespread in the southern portion of the Southern Hemisphere: Australasia, sub-Antarctic islands, southern South America and Tahiti; widespread in North America.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References