moss-Bruchia flexuosa

 Bruchia flexuosa

Bruchia flexuosa photo by Bob Klips

Bruchia flexuosa at a restored prairie in Marion Ohio. May 11, 2008.

How to recognize Bruchia flexuosa : This is a very small ephemeral moss with plants found up to 3.5 mm high and leaves to 3 mm long. The leaves have a single midvein extending into a long subula or hair point as long or longer than the oblong-ovate base of the leaf. The capsule is exserted from the leaves on a short seta up to 3 mm long, and is pyriform (pear shaped) and tapered toward the base, rostrate (with a short beak) and with a neck ¼ to ½ the capsule length. There is no operculum (lid) on the capsule or peristome (teeth that are revealed when the operculum falls off); the capsule splits open when the spores are mature. The spores are 26-45 microns in diameter and spinose (with tiny spines). The capsule calyptra is smooth.

Where to see Bruchia flexuosa. This moss is found on bare soil or fields in the spring or summer when capsules mature, often mixed with Physcomitrium pyriforme. Most of the other species of Bruchia are found in the southeastern United States; B. flexuosa is the most common.