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tasmanian liverworts - lepidoziaceae

lepidozia 120411A

1. habit

This was growing over rocks under the shade of a Nothofagus tree.

Shoots examined were mainly single pinnate (pix 2) but some shoots had up to half dozen secondary branches. Some primary as well as secondary branches had long microphyllous flagellate tips with rhizoids but no rhizoids were observed on the main stem or on the underleaves. Branching was mainly of Frullania type but there were a few ventral intercalary branches as well. Replacement shoots for broken main stems were usually ventral intercalary.

Androecia were not observed in the sampling but many shoots had several gynoecia each. These were mainly on short ventral intercalary branches off the main stem but there were some on leafy branches as well as on microphyllous flagellate branches (pix 8) where androecia would normally be found. This appears to be unique since none of the species described in Engel & Glenny1 share this characteristic.

Leaves were around 0.4 mm at the widest (pix 3). The dorsal side is depicted with a bulge but many leaves had more or less straight sides for much of their length. There were around a dozen cells from dorsal sinus to the base and around half that on the ventral sinus. Leaf arrangement was clearly incubous; spacing was imbricate on the branches but somewhat spaced on the main stems exposing part of the stem on the dorsal view. Underleaves had near symmetrical lobes and were attached near perpendicular to stem with lobe tips curving towards the stem (pix 4).

Frullania-type branch leaves were cordate and bilobed. First branch underleaves were bi- and tri-fid (pix 5); underleaves on main stem were attached with around 10 cells.

Leaf disk cells had 4-5(7) botryoidal oil bodies in the main stem leaves (pix 6). There was faint papillae on the leaves (pix 7).

Engel & Glenny's NZ key to the genus leads us to L. pumila. There are significant differences between that description and this spcimen to consider them the same. However the Checklist2 does list several species for Tasmania not shared with New Zealand.

main stem
2. main stem
stem leaf
3. stem leaf
4. stem underleaf
5. half-leaves
leaf cells
6. leaf cells
leaf lobe papillae
7. leaf lobe papillae
gynoecium on branch
8. gynoecium on branch
gynoecium detail
9. gynoecium detail


- 1Engel, J.J. & Glenny, D., A Flora of the Liverworts and Hornworts of New Zealand: Volume 1 Online version
- 2McCarthy, P.M., Checklist of Australian liverworts and hornworts, 2006

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120415-1, 2, 1, 146, 2542