Slender Catharinea MossThe Slender Catharinea, Catharinea angustata, Brid.
Habit and habitat. - Very common in conspicuous patches on the ground at the bases of trees, along roadsides, and in woods. The fruits and the bright red rosettes of the male plants may be found in winter. In cold or dry weather this moss curls up its leaves so as to protect the upper delicate surface from frost and too rapid evaporation.
Name. - The specific name angustata, the Latin for "narrowed," refers to the slender habit of the plant.
Plant (gametophyte).-Simple or forked, erect, bearing one to three spore-cases.
Leaves.-Long, narrowly strap-shaped, wavy on the borders. Apex serrate; base not sheathing; margin serrate only in the upper half. Lamellae 5 to 7.
Habit of flowering.-Dioicous, male flower on one plant, female flowers on another.
Veil (calyptra).-Membranous, split up one side, hairy at the summit.
Spore-case.-Nearly erect, narrowly cylindrical, green or dark-purple, shining.
Pedicel (seta).-Red, about one inch high.
Lid (operculum).-Dome-like, abruptly long-beaked.
Teeth (Peristome).-Thirty-two, blunt, connected at the base, attached by the tips to the disk at the summit of the columella.
Spores.-Mature in winter.
Distribution.-North America, Europe, Asia.