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tasmanian liverworts - pallaviciniaceae

symphyogyna hymenophyllum

Symphyogyna hymenophyllum
1. fertile plants


We discovered this growing adjacent to Aneuria rodwayi on a near vertical south facing road bank which stays damp all through winter if not during most of the year.

It was obviously a member of the Pallaviciniaceae family which includes Podomitrium, Symphyogyna and Pallavicinia genera. We ruled out Podomitrium because the thalli had teeth on the margains. Beyond that we had to wait for sporophytes to develop for more precise identification.

We lost sight of this plant for some time then re-discovered it three months later with sporophytes developing. Utas key states that Symphyogyna has 'base of sporophyte encased in a thick fleshy tube. Male sex organs with scales obscuring midrib'.

This contrasts with Pallavicinia where the 'base of sporophyte is surrounded by a tubular structure. Male sex organs (has) scales flanking both sides of the midrib'

As the images show, the description of Symphyogyna fits our specimen - the third image shows the scales over the midrib.

Unfortunately this population, together with adjacent Aneuria rodwayi was destroyed during routine road maintainence shortly after the image was taken.

There are a reported 4 species of Symphyogyna in Tasmania, the most common being S. hymenophyllum. S. interrupta has unbranched thallus and is fairly uncommon. The remining two species, S. lehmanniana and S. rhodina appear to be obscure entities whose existence seems to be in doubt.

Symphyogyna hymenophyllum habit
2. S. hymenophyllum
Close-up of Symphyogyna hymenophyllum thallus
3. close-up of thallus


- Meagher, D. 'Studies on Victorian Bryophytes 6. Key to thallose liverworts and hornworts', appearing in Victorian Naturalist Vol. 123(4) August 2006 p. 250

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