Field of Science


You probably have not heard of this moss before. It it pretty rare and I actually don't know anyone who has seen them in the wild. There are only two species in the genus (Takakia ceratophylla and T. lepidozioides). The genus is native to western North America and a few locations in Asia. 

This moss has an interesting naming history. It was originally discovered with only green, photosynthetic gametophytes. As you can see from the photo at left the leaves are deeply lobed and filamentous. Initially, the gametophyte was identified and named in the liverwort genus, Lepidozia. It wasn't until almost 100 years later that Takakia was found with sporophytes. The sporophytes have a persistent and tough seta/stalk with a capsule that opens via a single curved slit. If it was really a liverwort the stalk would be thin, translucent and ephemeral with a capsule that opens by 4 longitudinal slits. Once the sporophytes were found these species were moved into the genus Takakia and they have been hereafter identified as mosses.

Pretty amazing that it took that long for scientists to discover the sporophytes and then to figure out that they are really mosses.



  1. O, Takakia, a puzzling moss in Bryophyta evolution. Or today its position is better understood?


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