Brachythecium laetum (Brid.) Schimp.

Locations ofBrachythecium laetum (Brid.) Schimp. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Brachythecium laetum (Brid.) Schimp.
Common Name
Pleated Foxtail Moss
Brachythecium oxycladon auct. pl., non (Brid.) Jaeg. [see Comment under B. acuminatum]; Brachythecium digastrum Müll. Hal. ex Kindb.
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Not applicable
Brachythecium digastrum was placed in synonymy by Ignatov, et als. in a paper in Arctoa in 2008 based on comparison of molecular data (nr ITS) from a West Virginia specimen fitting this description. Crum and Anderson recognize B. digastrum based on enlarged basal cells extending inward to the costa and merely acute leaves with very short cells in the acumen. FNA follows Ignatov, et als. (2008). Despite the synonymy, Allen (2014; Maine Mosses) further comments that the illustration of B. digastrum in Crum and Anderson (1981) bears a greater resemblance to B. acuminatum than does their illustration of B. acuminatum.
Stem and branch leaves are dimorphic in Brachythecium laetum. The much larger stem leaves have large groups of small cells in the alar region that are at least partially opaque, a helpful identifying feature in this very difficult genus. Other helpful characters are the relatively short median cells and leaf margins serrulate to the base.
See Comment under B. acuminatum regarding misapplication of the name B. oxycladon.
Brachythecium laetum often forms large, sterile, golden green mats on rocks, boulders and rotting logs in the forest. When growing on soil, the mat-forming feature is less noticeable because of intermixed vegetation.
Native Status

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