Plants erect in light green to yellowish tufts, to 1 cm high. Lower leaves scale-like and appressed, often buried in the substratum; upper leaves erect spreading and mostly forming a bulbiform, comose cluster, somewhat contorted to little changed when dry, deeply concave, to 4 mm long, ovate oblong to obovate, 2–3: 1. Median laminal cells irregularly short rectangular to hexagonal, thin walled without corner thickening, to 40 µm wide, 2–5: 1, smooth. Basal cells somewhat longer than median cells but otherwise little differentiated. Margins plane to somewhat recurved, usually somewhat serrulate above the middle. Costa subpercurrent to shortly excurrent with its cross-section homogeneous. Axillary hairs to 5 cells long, to 150 µm, with no basal brown cell, not offset from leaf insertion. Rhizoids mostly near base of plant, smooth to very lightly papillose, pale to red-brown, to 30 µm in diameter at base, sparingly branched, arising from scattered nematogons. Stem cross-section with a central strand, with leptodermous and hyaline inner corticals and with 1–2 layers of somewhat pachydermous, red brown outer cortical cells.
Autoicous with perigonia in leaf axils near the perichaetia or on the apices of separate short branches. Perichaetia terminal with bracts little differentiated. Seta yellow to reddish, smooth, so flexuose as to tangle with adjacent setae, to 35 mm long. Urn orange-brown to brownish, to 3 mm long, 2–3: 1, strongly arcuate and sulcate. Operculum dome shaped, almost without an apiculus. Annulus well-defined, revoluble. Exothecial cells at capsule mouth thick walled, to 50 µm broad, rectangular and transversely elongate, 0.2–0.4: 1, strongly differentiated in up to 4 rows. Exothecial cells at middle of urn quadrate to rectangular, 1–5: 1, to 20 µm broad, very thick walled on ridges of capsule with lumen:wall ratio 0.25–1: 1, thinner walled in valleys of the sulcate capsule. Stomata restricted to neck of capsule, phaneroporous, formed of a single doughnut-shaped cell. Exostome teeth 16, pale brown to reddish, to 800 µm long, finely and densely papillose striate below but papillose above, strongly trabeculate and appendiculate with both the appendiculae of adjacent teeth and the apices of those teeth fused. Endostome segments about 2/3 as long as the peristome teeth, lightly papillose, without basal membrane or cilia. Calyptra cucullate and rostrate, inflated, sheathing most of capsule. Spores light green, to 20 µm, smooth.
This is the most abundant species of Funaria throughout the world. It is an excellent indicator of fire, usually present in dense swards on the ashes after a bonfire or on the soil after a forest fire. It is usually with sporophytes, is easily recognized by the inflated and beaked calyptra, the arcuate and sulcate capsule, and by the tendency for the long and flexuose setae to wrap around one another. Funaria hygrometrica is found throughout California, even in sheltered areas near springs in Death Valley.
Malcolm et al. 2009 p. 48; Crum and Anderson 1981; Flowers 1973; Ignatov and Ignatova 2003; Ireland 1982; Lawton 1971; Sharp et al. 1994; Smith 1978.
CaR, CW, DMoj, DSon, GV, MP, NW, SN, SNE, SW.
Alameda Co.: Brushy Peak northeast of Livermore,
; Fresno Co.: Ross Landing Road at Indian Head, Sierra National Forest, Shevock, Ertter, & York 13484; Humboldt Co.: Eyesee Road at China Gulch, Six Rivers National Forest,
; Los Angeles Co.: Wrigley Memorial Gardens, Santa Catalina Island, Harpel 2402 (pers. herb.); Merced Co.: future campus site of University of California, Merced,
; Modoc Co.: north of Middle Alkali Lake northeast of Cedarville,
; Santa Barbara Co.: Lobos Canyon, Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park,
Shevock & Rodriquez 20845
; Solano Co.: Jepson Prairie Preserve east of Fairfield,
Elevation by latitude plot for Funaria hygrometrica
Agnew, S. & M. Vondráček 1975. A moss flora of Iraq. Feddes Repert. 86: 341–489.
Allen, B. H. 1987. Mosses from the state of Maine. Evansia 4: 17–20.
Anderson, L. E., H. A. Crum & W. R. Buck 1990. List of mosses of North America north of Mexico. Bryologist 93: 448–499.
Bartram, E. B. 1949. Mosses of Guatemala. Fieldiana, Bot. 25. 442 pp.
4-10 or more mm, with a basal antheridial branch, medium green to yellowish green; leafless proximally with leaves crowded and bulbiform distally, sometimes laxly foliate throughout.
smaller proximally, distal leaves 2-4 mm, deeply concave, oblong-ovate to broadly obovate distally, acute to apiculate or short-acuminate, entire or weakly serrulate distally; costa subpercurrent to short-excurrent; distal laminal cells thin-walled and inflated, hexagonal or oblong-hexagonal becoming much more oblong proximally.
usually (12-)20-45(-80) mm, slender and flexuose, usually hygroscopic.
2-3.5 mm, pyriform, asymmetric, curved to straight, horizontal to pendent or merely inclined or nearly erect, becoming sulcate when dry below the strongly oblique mouth; annulus revoluble, operculum slightly convex; peristome brown, papillose-striate proximally and papillose distally, strongly trabeculate, becoming appendiculate distally, forming a lattice by fusion of the tips; endostome segments lanceolate about
/3 as long as the teeth, yellowish, finely papillose-striate.
mostly 12-21 µm, finely papillose.
Varieties ca. 20 (2 in the flora): worldwide except Antarctica.
is one of the most common, weedy, and widely distributed mosses in the world; its distribution closely parallels that of
. It is widely illustrated in textbooks to demonstrate the life cycle of a typical moss, possibly because of the abundant conspicuous sporophytes produced and its frequent presence in greenhouses. However, the peristome with opposite, instead of alternate, teeth in the two peristome rows is clearly atypical among the majority of mosses. Most of the varieties that have been described probably do not merit recognition because of the morphological plasticity of the species in response to environmental conditions.
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