Image of Sphagnum meridense C. Müller 1848
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Sphagnum meridense C. Müller 1848

Comprehensive Description

provided by North American Flora
Sphagnum meridense (Hampe) C. Miill. Syn. 1 : 95. 1848
Sphagnum acutifolium meridense Hampe, Linnaea 20: 66. 1847. Sphagnum Antillarum Besch. Ann. Sci. Nat. VI. 3: 263. 1876. Sphagnum plalydadum C. Mull. Flora 70: 417. 1887. Sphagnum Lesueurii Warnst. Hedwigia 29: 205. 1890. Sphagnum costaricense Warnst. Bull. Herb. Boiss. 2: 401. 1894. Sphagnum Tonduzii Warnst. Bot. Centr. 82: 40. 1900.
Plants sometimes delicate and slender, generally very robust, bright-green or whitish, mostly tinged with red. Wood-cylinder greenish to somewhat reddish; cortical cells of the stem in 2-3 layers, large, thin-walled, without fibrils, the outer cells quadrilateral or pentagonal, mostly longer than broad, without pores: stem-leaves small to medium-sized, triangular-ovate, nearly twice as long as wide, concave especially near the toothed apex, the border strong, more or less broadened at the base, with pitted cell-walls; hyaline cells rhomboidal, 2-3 times as long as wide at the apex, narrower toward the sides and base, normally without fibrils, sometimes a few cells fibriUose, occasionally once divided, the membrane of the inner surface considerably resorbed in round or irregular gaps, generally several (up to 6) per cell, reduced or lacking toward the sides and base, the membrane on the outer surface mostly entire with longitudinal membrane-pleats: branches in fascicles of 5 or 6, 2 spreading, their cortical cells in a single layer, without fibrils, the retort-cells well differentiated with inconspicuous necks, often a second retort-cell above the first: branch-leaves loosely imbricate or spreading, medium-sized to large according to the size of the plants, ovate-oblong, very concave, abruptly short-pointed by an involute apex which is finally truncate and toothed, the border entire, of 1-2 rows of narrow cells; hyahne cells fibriUose, narrowly rhomboidal, 8-10 times as long as wide at the base, shorter above to 6-8 times at the apex, on the inner surface with numerous round pores of good size in the comers and along the commissures, 2-10 per cell, on the outer surface varying much, sometimes with very few pores in the ends and corners of the cells, at other times with numerous pores along the commissures, the number of pores varying inversely with the amount of exposure of chlorophyl-cells on the outer surface, sometimes with very small strongly ringed pores in the central portion of the cells: chlorophyl-cells varying in section from triangular with the base exposed on the inner surface to truncately elliptic or nearly rectangular with approximately equal exposure on both surfaces, the lumen large, lenticular in the latter case; hyaline cells convex on the inner surface, up to one fifth of the diameter of the cell, on the outer surface slightly more so, up to one fourth of the diameter, or more in the case of triangular chlorophyl-cells.
Dioicous, rarely monoicous. Antheridia in catkins on spreading branches; antheridial leaves more or less tinged red, otherwise hardly differentiated from the normal branch-leaves. Fruiting branches erect, sometimes rather long; perichaetial leaves ovate to ovate-lanceolate, some abruptly involute at the apex, with both kinds of cells in the upper middle portion, the hyaline cells sometimes divided, without fibrils or pores: capsule dark-brown: spores yellow, about 20 /I in diameter, their surface granular-roughened.
Type locality: Merida. Venezuela.
Distribution: Florida; West Indies; Mexico; Central America; also in South America.
bibliographic citation
Albert LeRoy Andrews, Elizabeth Gertrude Britton, Julia Titus Emerson. 1961. SPHAGNALES-BRYALES; SPHAGNACEAE; ANDREAEACEAE, ARCHIDIACEAE, BRUCHIACEAE, DITRICHACEAE, BRYOXIPHIACEAE, SELIGERIACEAE. North American flora. vol 15(1). New York Botanical Garden, New York, NY
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