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Posted by jekeesl Central AR 7b (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 19, 14 at 19:18

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?

 photo smallspecies5.jpg

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Lichen?

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

RE: Lichen?

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!!!

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