Octoblepharum albidum Hedw.
Family: Leucobryaceae
octoblepharum moss
Octoblepharum albidum image
Plants glossy, glaucous-green to white, often with pink tinge; densely cespitose; axillary hairs 3 per axil, 5-celled. Leaves spreading-recurved, fleshy, fragile when dry, 4-5 mm, apiculate, older leaves sometimes with rhizoids on tips. Specialized asexual reproduction rare, by gemmae. Seta yellow, 2-5 mm. Capsule brownish, 1-1.5 mm, ovoid-cylindric, slightly asymmetric, with stomata at base; operculum 0.8 mm; peristome of 8 blunt triangular pairs of teeth, teeth smooth or faintly striate, 200 µm tall, each composed of one interior and one exterior layer of intact, empty, cell-like plates; prostome present. Calyptra 1.5-1.9 mm. Spores finely papillose, 17-24 µm.

Capsules mature throughout the year but most common Sep-Apr. Hammocks and open forests, primarily on stems and bases of Quercus virginiana and Sabal palmetto, and rotted logs, occasionally terrestrial on soil and humus; low elevations (0-30 m); Fla., La., Tex.; pantropical.

Octoblepharum albidum is a weedy and conspicuous moss that is distributed worldwide in the tropics. It grows especially on palms, often forming deep soft cushions. The flat, glossy, ligulate, spreading-recurved leaves distinguish it easily in the field from the superficially similar Leucobryum, which has erect or spreading, pointed, subtubulose leaves.