Lichen?

jekeesl (south-central Arkansas)(7b)March 19, 2014

These "plants" were found today in a shaded, moist glade. Leaves, stems, and fruits were glabrous. Each leaf was small enough to fit on the eraser of a pencil, and fruits were about the same size as the head of a pin. Leaves were short-petiolate toward the base, rooted along the length of their midribs, and were green with ruffled, purple edges. They averaged 3 mm wide by 5 mm long, and were strongly reticulate (appeared to be divided into elongated cells oriented toward the edges). The leaves were somewhat thickened at the base, and swelled to a much thicker section on the apical half. That flowering end was about 1.5 to 2.0 mm thick, and had a fruit growing from close to the tip. That fruit was a relatively round ball, which was about 1.3 mm across on a pedicel about 1.7 mm long. Each leaf had just one fruit. Fruits also seemed to be strongly reticulate, appeared to be papillate, and were sometimes depressed at the top. I cut one to see if this was some type of egg sack. It was a solid, pulpy green inside. Are these some type of lichen?

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saltcedar(Sunset zn 30/usda 8b)

Liverwort I believe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Asterella-californica

This post was edited by saltcedar on Wed, Mar 19, 14 at 20:13

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:03PM
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jekeesl (south-central Arkansas)(7b)

Thanks saltcedar. I ran the key and checked descriptions for Bryophytes in FNA, and think this is probably Asterella tenella. I was working through the definitions and keys for foliose lichens when your post came in. You got me unstuck. Thanks so much for the help!!!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:30PM
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