Monday, October 10, 2005

What is a Bartramia?

What's a Bartramia?



One of my favorite mosses and not to be confused with an endangered bird of similar nomen (the upland sandpiper) Bartramia is a glorious soft green color that can really bring life to a dull day!

Here are some pics:





I first became aware of the mosses, liverworts, and hornworts (not to mention lichens!) at a course on 'lower' plant morphology taught by Professor Jerry A. Snider (now emeritus) at the University of Cincinnati - a very big thanks to you sir!


And a bit about Bartramia's features:

The North American species:
Bartramia (genus) - Bartramiaceae (family) first named by the botanist
Hedwig, Sp. Musc. 164. 1801, conserved name [for the Pennsylvania colonist, John Bartram]



Plants small to robust, in loose to dense, soft or rigid tufts, dull green to glaucous (meaning whitish), sometimes yellowish or yellowish brown above.

The apple-like balls are capsules that contain spores and these capsules give the commonest US species (pictured here) its name B. pomiformis.The common name for this moss is in fact "apple moss."




Some ancient and modern:




Do a double-click on these images to get the full effect of this beautiful moss - one that's fascinated botanists for centuries!


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