Alexis wrote today’s entry:
Robert Klips (Orthotrichum@Flickr) shares this photo via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. He writes, “Plagiomnium ciliare (Mniaceae) is a common woodland cushion moss. Like many mosses, male Plagiomnium plants produce their antheridia in terminal clusters surrounded by a rosette of leaves that forms a splash cup to disperse sperm during rainy weather. This specimen was photographed May 7, 2011 on a large boulder in a moist shady forest in Hocking County, Ohio, USA.” Thank you, Robert!
Plagiomnium ciliare is a moss endemic to Canada and the USA, growing on moderately dry substrates of soil, rocks, tree bases, rotten logs and stumps (Ireland’s Moss Flora of the Maritime Provinces (1982)). The plants are green to yellow-green in appearance, creating loose or dense tufts 3-9cm high (Conard and Redfearn’s How to Know the Mosses and Liverworts from 1979). This species is dioicous, meaning that a given gametophyte will yield either sperm or eggs, but not both. Additionally, the sporophytes are solitary, a single stalk (seta) occurring on any one gametophyte. The leaves are elliptic and have margins that are toothed almost to the base.
The name of the genus comes from the Greek word plagios, meaning “oblique, transverse, or slanting”, and mnion, simply meaning “moss”.