Northwest Lichenologists

Hylocomium buds

  • 23 Jul 2019 3:59 PM
    Message # 7793260

    Hi folks:


    A student of mine noticed these buds growing along the branches of Hylocomium splendens. I've rarely observed sporophytes on H. splendens so I was wondering if these "buds" would develop into sporophytes or new branches? Inside some of the buds were these little brown structures with a netted pattern. See attached photos. 

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  • 24 Jul 2019 5:24 AM
    Reply # 7794614 on 7793260
    Lalita Calabria wrote:

    Hi folks:


    A student of mine noticed these buds growing along the branches of Hylocomium splendens. I've rarely observed sporophytes on H. splendens so I was wondering if these "buds" would develop into sporophytes or new branches? Inside some of the buds were these little brown structures with a netted pattern. See attached photos. 

    So if these buds have the ability to grow new plants are they Gemmae?
  • 24 Jul 2019 8:24 AM
    Reply # 7794883 on 7793260

    They are probably antheridia -  the male structures. Look inside and there should be sacs of sperm. If not male structures, they are the female structures called archegonia, that will grow into capsules. Another moss where they are quite evident is Orthotrichum lyellii, which has separate male and female plants.


  • 27 Oct 2019 11:27 AM
    Reply # 8079251 on 7793260
    Lalita Calabria wrote:

    Hi folks:


    A student of mine noticed these buds growing along the branches of Hylocomium splendens. I've rarely observed sporophytes on H. splendens so I was wondering if these "buds" would develop into sporophytes or new branches? Inside some of the buds were these little brown structures with a netted pattern. See attached photos. 

    These are definitely perigonial branches. The small outer leaves cover the antheridia. These are classic moss antheridia (the name of the male sexual organ) and are somewhat reminiscent of a brown banana. 

    The reason you don't often see capsules in H. splendens is that it is dioicous, and the male perigonia are on different plants than the female perichaetia. Since the sperm has to swim to the archegonia, and they have an effective range of about 4" or so, they are not often successful.

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