Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Racomitrium aciculare and Didymodon tophaceous

Both blunt(ish)-tipped leaves with a very similar nerve. R.aciculare has a toothed blunt tip, where D.tophaceous has none. The Didymodon tapers more and is less rounded. The Racomitrium appears to have more of a revolute (involute?) leaf edge where the Didymodon has the appearance of only a narrow border.

I say all this because I have a plant in my field collection box marked as D.tophaceous, but it has rounded toothed tips. Every day's a school day, as they say.

Some borrowed images from Oregon State Uni:

Didymodon tophaceous

Racomitrium aciculare

My "Didymodon". The leaf below is really about 0.9mm - a very small example, so potentially confusing. Cell shape looks pretty Racomitrium to these newbie eyes too.

And a not-so-great shot of the plant as a whole

(Just noticed on Idaho website, comment on the Didymodon - <<I first found this species in Idaho in 1975, at which time I noted on the packet, "like Racomitrium aciculare except the margins are bistratose">> - so the similarity is noted there too)

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