Genus CatharineaGenus CATHARINEA, Ehrh.
The members of this genus will always attract attention from their habit of growing in extensive patches in partly shaded places. The leafy part of the plant is erect and large enough to form soft and luxuriantly green areas very conspicuous when beset with slender pedicels bearing either pale immature spore-cases or shining rich-coloured mature ones.
The genus was founded by Friedrich Ehrhart in honour of Catharine II, Empress of Russia. The leaves are strap-shaped or oval-oblong, rich in leaf-green and wavy when fresh, and curled or twisted in various directions when dry; the apex is acute or obtuse and the base is not sheathing; the vein bears a few lamellae toward the apex.
The veils are split up one side and are sometimes rough.
The spore-cases are oval cylindrical, nodding, or arched, with long-beaked lids and are borne on long exserted pedicels.
The little column (columella) within the spore-case is terminated by a disk-like membrane (epiphragm).
The peristome is simple, of 32 tonguelike teeth united at the base; the tips are united by their inner faces to processes on the edge of the epiphragm so that the epiphragm hangs down from them by the length of the processes.
There are about forty-eight species known in all, nineteen being found in North America.
Slender Catharinea Moss
Wavy Leaved Catharinea