World of Mosses website

A Graphic Guide to Ontario Mosses

by Robert Muma


Growth Form Plate #3

Leaves in 2 Ranks and forming
Flat (fan-like) plants




Growth Form Plate #3



    These are the only distichous (leaves in two ranks) acrocarpous genera occurring on our continent, and only the first two are very likely to be encountered here.  SCHISTOSTEGA (Cave Moss) has been found a few times in Ontario in dark places cut off from direct light.  BRYOXIPHIUM (Sword Moss) has never been found in Canada at all.  It is a curious moss found on some vertical sandstone cliffs across the U.S., Greenland and Iceland.  It illustrates here the wide ranging form of this limited group.
    The FISSIDENS genus is unusual in having species in both acrocarpous and pleurocarpous groupings.  Position of the sporophyte determines to which group the species belongs.  See also Growth Form Plate #8.


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